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July 7, 2017


Council approves new budget Revenues – Total Budget* 2017-18



City Council OKs 2017-18 budget

1.93% - The Grove Park

1.82% - Neighborhood St. Lights

4.46% Measure J 5.07% Gas Tax

15.71% - Landscape Maint. Dist.

1.93% - Stormwater 1.77% - Grants

3.59% - Misc. Other Funds**

Expenditures – Total Budget* 2017-18 2.81% Grants

2.48% - Stormwater

5.04% Misc. Other Funds**

1.74% - Neighborhood Street Lights 1.61% - The Grove Park

6.29% Gas Tax

8.49% - Measure J

53.54% - General Fund


At its June 20 meeting, the City Council passed a balanced budget for FY 2017-18 with room to spare. At $4,455,080, the General Fund makes up the biggest portion of the city’s total budget, with 53 percent of that going to the police department. With projected revenues of $4,465,880, the General Fund will see a surplus of $10,830, the result of the police department running short-staffed for most of last year. The current fiscal year will close with a reserve bal-

The City Council approved 18.02% - Landscape 63.72% - General Fund its fiscal year 2017-’18 city budgMaint. Dist. et and the five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget on June 20. The city budget includes a $4.455 million General Fund **Includes following funds: GHAD, Presley Settlement, Dev Impact Fees, CERF, budget, a CIP budget of $2.817 Self Insurance, Endeavor Hall, and Successor Housing Agency.*Excludes Capital *Excludes Capital Improvement Program and Fiduciary Funds Improvement Program and Fiduciary Funds million, Other Funds budget of $4.817 million and a $711,000 plan to continue retiring the debt PROJECTED 2017-18 REVENUES WILL EXCEED EXPENDITURES by nearly $11K. additionally, an anticipated expense in the obligations of our Successor Successor agency last year failed to materialize, which gives the city $250,000 for a new Pension Stabilization Fund to See Budget, page 6 Agency (formerly the Redevel- help offset market fluctuations in the coming year. opment Agency). The General Fund services plan projects a modest annual surplus of $10,830 to address any contingencies in the coming year. All in all, city services continue on financially sound footing under the watchful leadership of Mayor Jim Diaz, who CARINA ROMANO finance manager Kevin Mizuno organizes the show, says that Pioneer Staff Intern and city manager Gary Napper. 20 to 25 vehicles are typically Clayton residents took a on display. A Local DJ, Don CAMERA SYSTEM IN drive down Memory Lane this Vogel, plays music from these FINAL STAGES At earlier public meetings, June with the commencement decades, filling the street with the City Council approved of the third annual Clayton cheer and nostalgia. Until three years ago, the agreements to purchase and Classic Car Show on Main owners of Skipolini’s Pizza install four camera systems for Street. produced the classic car show. Classic cars from the 1940s use by the Clayton Police When the restaurant could no Department. The two sets of to the 1970s stood in brilliantly longer put on the show cameras will be located at the colored rows, dazzling passersbecause of a lack of space, four entry and exit points to by as they shone in the late Diaz agreed to take over and evening sun. Every car was in Clayton. the City Council approved the This new technological tool pristine condition, so it was new venue in the public parkfor local law enforcement has easy to see the owners had ing lot next to the Clayton become more prevalent in Con- taken great care. Museum. The Clayton Classic Car tra Costa County and across the Dennis, a classic car owner nation as part of the constant Show is a free summertime who didn’t want his last name vigilance to maintain safe com- event, and classic car owners used, entered the first show on munities. It consists of Auto- from across Contra Costa June 14 with his light blue mated License Plate Readers County are invited to display 1958 Chevrolet Corvette. Den(ALPRs), plus “event” cameras their cars. The event occurs 6nis has presented it in other for use when follow-up criminal 8 p.m. every other Wednesday Carina Romano shows, but this was his first investigations become necessary through Sept. 6. Don’t miss T HE TOWN ’ S CLASSIC CAR SHOW IS BACK for the third year this summer. Head down to the next trip into the past on See Car Show, page 6 Main Street for cars and music from each decade since the 1940s. See Mayor, page 6 Wednesday, July 12.

Classic cars sizzle at Clayton’s summer shows

St. Bonaventure’s Mangini retires after 50 years CARINA ROMANO Pioneer Staff Intern

A young boy of five sat in a pew with his older cousin, looking up with wide eyes at the altar in Queen of All Saints Church in Concord. It was 1945, and the Catholic mass was still celebrated in Latin. Though the small boy did not understand the words the priest was speaking, he was fascinated by the liturgy, and looked forward to mass every Sunday. It was here, at the age of five, that Father Richard Mangini knew he wanted to become a priest. This summer, he has retired from the priesthood at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Con-

siblings in downtown Concord, visiting his grandmother at the Mangini Ranch on the weekends. “I would say I had a very quintessential oldtown kind of growing up,” says Mangini. He portrays his childhood environment as happy and simple. “We weren’t poor, but we weren’t rich. We seemed to have had all that we needed.” Mangini’s family has lived in Concord for generations. “Our roots are very deep Concord native, Richard Mangini, will spend the first three here, and I feel very much at months of his retirement in Italy, where family and friends will home,” he says. “One of the visit him in his rented farmhouse outside of Lucca. things I enjoy about being a priest in the community so cord after 21 years. Born in Concord in 1940, many years later is still servLongtime Concord Resi- Mangini spent his early years ing many of the same famident living with his parents and lies with whom I grew up.”

Catholicism has always been a part of his life, and he never wavered in the decision he made at 5-years-old to become a priest. “I always had this sense that this is what I was called to be and to do,” says Mangini. When he was to begin high school, he chose to attend St. Joseph’s College, a high school and college seminary program in Mountain View. His parents wanted him to wait, feeling he was too young to go away to school. “It was like going to boarding school,” Mangini says. “But I prevailed upon it. It was what I really wanted to do.” He describes life at St. Joseph’s as very strict and

regimented, but he enjoyed it. Though many of his classmates ended up leaving seminary school, he never once questioned his calling. By the time his class graduated, only 13 of the original 53 students remained to move on to St. Patrick’s Seminary and University to complete their education.

See Mangini, page 6

What’s Inside

Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Community Calendar . . . . .13 Directory of Advertisers . . . .7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Postal Customer ECRWSS


Around Town

Page 2

Clayton Pioneer •

Clayton Round Up a rollicking good time

Matt Hill, left, Holly Tillman, Sanjay Ray, Matt Tillman, Jim Middendorf and Michael arbour enjoy a drink at the Clayton Round Up.

AHA moment for City Council

The Clayton Round Up again exceeded all expectations, with top-notch entertainment, mouth-watering food and prizes that left the audience in high-spirited bidding wars throughout the evening. No matter how bad their dancing feet ached, the crowd kept asking for more. Everyone finally left with smiling faces, anticipating the 2018 Round Up. Attendance was about the same as last year, at 500. The event was held in conjunction with the Relay for Life. Proceeds will be split between the American Cancer Society and the Mt. Diablo Elementary playing field rehabilitation. “It is too early to figure out how much we raised,” said Pat Middendorf, who sits on the fundraising committees for both efforts. Clayton’s Relay For Life will be Aug. 12-13 in the Grove. For more information, visit w w w. r e l a y f o r l i f e . o r g / claytonca.

July 7, 2017

Cadets head to college

The City honored two retiring Police Cadets as they move on to college in the fall. Jaden Shaw will attend Northern Arizona University where he will major in Criminal Justice. Jaden served in the Cadet program for two years. Kayleigh Finney completed

three years in the program and will attend Western University in Pomona. Police Cadets assist officers in the office and at major events. Officer Tom Starick coordinates the cadet program. Chief Chris Wenzel presented the certificates.

The Council officially proClayton officer Tom Starick,left, with honored cadets claimed July 2017 as AHA! Kayleigh Finney and Jaden Shaw, Mayor Jim Diaz and Month in Clayton, in honor of Chief Chris Wenzel the organization AHA! (AntiHazing Awareness) Movement. AHA! Movement is a non-profit organization founded by Debbie Smith, MM in memory of her son’s death in Brett and 2005 due to a hazing incident George Simpkins while pledging a fraternity. from Clayton travAHA!’s research has found that eled with their mom, as high as 67 percent of college Kristen, and the Piostudents experience hazing neer on their trip to when pledging or joining a Puerto Vallarta in club—even if their school June while husband does not condone hazing pracand daughter travtices—and 47 percent of stueled to Japan. Kristen dents are hazed even before and boys celebrated college. Hazing has resulted in the end of the school annual fatalities and serious John and Laura Antaki, 35-year Clayton year, the highlight injuries documented since Julie Pierce residents, took along the Pioneer on their May being a meal at their 1969. aHa! Movement CEO Smith and Vice Chair Kristin Pollot trip to New York. Recognize that lady in the favorite restaurant, -Carina Romano with Mayor Jim Diaz. background? Pepe’s Tacos.

Pioneer Travels

Helping friends, neighbors and newcomers buy and sell since 1979

Each Office Is Independently Owned & Operated.

Better Homes BRE#00933393

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109 Gold Rush Ct.–Clayton

5677 Starfish Ct.–Discovery Bay

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214 Hamlin Loop–Walnut Creek

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18 Clark Creek Cir. – Clayton

(925) 672-4433 cell: (925) 348-5700 Cal BRE #00933393 Pristine unit in desirable “Citrus Walk” overlooking park-like common area! 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths approx. 1604sf with inside laundry and attached 2 car garage. Walk distance to new Orchards & Whole Foods shopping centers. Close to schools, Shadelands & John Muir Hospital. $729,000

Jennifer Stojanovich Broker-Associate

Lifelong Clayton/Concord Resident

(925) 567-6170 Cal BRE #01446062

Clayton Market Update provided by Better Homes Realty



Fantastic Single Story in Marsh Creek Villas!. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, approx. 1050sf with attached 2 car garage! Fantastic location tucked away at the rear of the complex! $425,000



1544 Petar Court . . . . . . . . . $710,000 . . . . .1768 1040 Pebble Beach Drive . . $1,180,000 . . .3911 910 Kenston Drive . . . . . . . . $820,000 . . . . .1652 7020 Molluk Way . . . . . . . . . $910,000 . . . . .2786 861 Coachman Place. . . . . . $735,000 . . . . .2057

1040 Pebble Beach Dr. – Clayton


5000 Keller Ridge Dr. – Clayton

Great “Santa Fe” Model in Oak Hollow at Oakhurst Country Club. 3 bedrooms plus a loft, 2.5 baths, approx. 1911sf. Well maintained with neutral décor. Walk to community pool! $729,000



. . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . .6/26/17 . . . . . .5/3.5 . . . . .6/23/17 . . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . .6/19/17 . . . . . .5/3 . . . . . . .6/16/17 . . . . . .4/2 . . . . . . .6/16/17

Great “Belvedere” Model fronts open space with un-obstructed views of rolling hills.

Sold over list!


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Sensational “Belvedere” Model has it all!


373 Mt, Washington Way . . . $810,000 18 Long Creek Circle . . . . . . $445,000 219 Round House Place . . . $675,000 4201 Coyote Circle . . . . . . . $592,000 56 Karkin Place . . . . . . . . . . $695,000



. . . . .2135 . . . . .1075 . . . . .1939 . . . . .1554 . . . . .1991


. . . . . .3/2 . . . . . . .6/16/17 . . . . . .2/2 . . . . . . .6/15/17 . . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . .6/14/17 . . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . . .6/9/17 . . . . . .3/2.5 . . . . . .6/8/17

July 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 3

Around Town DVMS students Do the Right Thing

Four Diablo View Middle School eighth graders were honored by the City Council at the June 6 meeting for showing great Courage in their school endeavors. “All of these students have to frequently step out of their comfort zones,” said school principal, Patti Bannister, who introduced the four students. Mason Oakley has never missed a day of school since starting kindergarten. “This is truly extraordinary,” said Bannister. Natalie Pursche has been the Pioneer correspondent

See DTRT, page 5

e Grove h T n i Saturdays 6 to 8:30 p.m.

At the Gazebo in The Grove

Set up chairs and blankets on the lawn after 4 p.m.

DVMS students Mason Oakley, Natalie Pursche, angela Doria and Sam Mudriyan with their DTRT certificates presented by Mayor Jim Diaz.

Latest addition to long line of pioneer Claytonians

ents Ryan Wilkins and Sandy Tesch Wilkins welcomed Pauline Claire Wilkins into the world on April 17 at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley. Pauline is the descendant of Clayton pioneering families Matheson, Russelmann, Frank and Rasmussen. Pauline Claire is named for her aunt, Paula Tesch. Her mother, Sandra Claire Tesch Wilkins and her great grandmother, Phyllis Claire Frank Easton. Pauline’s grandparents, Tim and Lisa Wilkins and Lois Easton Henley and Bob Henley live in the Clayton Valley. Pauline PAULINE CLAIRE WILKINS Claire Wilkins is the great granddaughter of Martin EastA seventh generation of on and the great niece of Janet Clayton pioneering families has Easton, both of Clayton. joined our midst.  Proud par-

Dan Richardson retires

At the June 20 regular meeting, the Clayton City Council recognized retiring planning commissioner Dan Richardson for his eight years of service. Although Richardson’s tenure on the Planning Commission began in 2009, his service to the city goes back many years. In 2007, he played a pivotal role in the successful passage of the Landscape Maintenance District. “Dan’s retirement is a great loss,” said Councilmember Julie Pierce. “The job of planning commissioner is not the easiest and Dan always had an excellent approach to the job.” DAN RICHARDSON -Carina Romano



Black Diamond — This 3 bed/2.5 bath duet has impressive cathedral ceilings and has been updated with fresh designer paint, newer carpet, modern brushed nickel hardware and light fixtures. The gorgeous living room has soaring ceilings, plenty of light and a gas burning fireplace. There is an adjoining formal dining room and a grand staircase with platform. Michelle Gittleman (925) 768-0352 Cal BRE# 01745325



Fabulous backyard — This beautiful rancher includes 4 bedrooms & 2 updated baths. Sparkling pool, several entertaining areas and great landscaping. Wonderful floor plan with kitchen/family combo. Approximately 1,926 sq ft on private, court location. Call for more info 2016 Top Producer Sylvia Jones (925) 200-7491 Cal BRE#01331733


Sterling Preserve — Gorgeous single story home on a quarter acre with courtyard entrance. Open floor plan with oversized windows allowing wonderful lighting. Gourmet kitchen w/ island, walkin & butlers pantries, breakfast bar & granite counters. 4 bed/3 bath with private backyard with oversized spa with fountain.



Casey Glen — Single story 4 bedroom, 3 bath home with 3 car garage. Approx 2118 square feet with fresh paint and plantation shutters. Sunny kitchen with garden window and pantry. Great backyard on a quarter acre lot near walking trails.

Lynne & Kelly offer free staging on ALL LISTINGS

Bay Area favorite, covers classics of Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Timberlake, Lady Gaga and others

July 22

The Peelers

Cover band playing music from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today

Aug. 5

Pride and Joy

Pop/Soul singing the sounds of Motown

Aug. 19

Busta Groove

Dance party band with hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today

Sept. 2


High-energy stage show with three lead vocalists, horn section and four-piece rhythm section

Sept. 16

East Bay Mudd

10-piece cover dance band with four-man horn section

or “silly-string.” Please clean up before leaving. This is your park - help keep it clean & safe!


Your donations are the primary source of funds for next year’s “Concerts in The Grove.” We thank Republic

Services and CBCA for their on-going and generous support.

Donations may be sent to

Concerts in The Grove—Saturday concerts, c/o City of Clayton, 6000 Heritage Trail, Clayton, CA 94517

Send your news of births, engagements, weddings, travels etc. to


Diamond Dave

July 8

Please, no glassware, BBQs, water balloons, beach balls

What’s happening Around Town?



s t r e Conc

For information go to



n Pe



Morgan Territory Area — Recently updated, single-story home in breathtaking country setting at the foot of Mt Diablo. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and approx 2436 sq ft of living space. Flat 1 acre lot with sparkling pool, spa, gardens, and room for your horse and/or toys. Kelly McDougall (925) 787-0448


Dana Estates — Charming 3 bedroom cottage on deep level lot in quiet, friendly neighborhood. Large open living area with a vintage gas fireplace. So many quality upgrades: New manufactured wood flooring & carpet, dual pane windows, remodeled kitchen & 2 baths with maple cabinets & granite counters. Inge Yarborough (925) 766-6896 Cal BRE# 01309306

Cal BRE#01156462




Black Diamond — Charming duet in desirable community featuring beautiful laminate floors throughout. Light and bright living space with fireplace, dining room, updated kitchen and Mt Diablo views from upstairs. This 3 bed, 2.5 bath unit is complete with a spacious yard with deck and open space next door.



Clayton Woods — Gorgeous Cabin type home surrounded by mature trees. Spacious 5 bed, 3 bath home with floor to ceiling windows in living room, cathedral ceiling, family room with wood paneled wall and gorgeous laminated wood flooring. Kitchen with stainless steel apps & granite counters. Backyard perfect for entertaining with patios, gardens and grass area.

Assisting More Buyers & Sellers than Anyone Else* *Statistics based on Clayton/Concord and Contra Costa County Closed sales by volume (1/2014-12/31/2014). Data by Maxebrdi

"Like" us on

- Windermere Clayton!

Page 4

Clayton Pioneer •

July 7, 2017

Wet winter portends dangerous fire season TAMARA STEINER Clayton Pioneer

Following the wettest California year on record, state and regional fire agencies are gearing up for what threatens to be a vicious fire season, says CalFire Battalion Chief, Mike Marcucci. “10 years ago, we’d have grass fires two or three times a year,” he recalls. “We’d put ‘em out and be home by dinner.” Then the drought hit and for five nearly waterless years, the grass didn’t grow much and drought-stressed trees died. This season, those dead and downed trees along with a bumper crop of grass make for a deadly combination, especially in the subdivisions that back up to open space and the rural areas out Marsh

Creek and Morgan Territory. “What starts out as a small fire can quickly become very destructive,” says Marcucci. “Even a small grass fire like the one that charred 1.4 acres in Dana Hills last year could easily burn two or three homes.” High dead grass is “ladder fuel,” Marcucci explains. A grass fire travels quickly. If it’s just grass burning, it moves and goes out. But, once in the trees, the story is different. “Last year in the Valley Fire, we had trees exploding,” he said. “And they can burn for more than a day.” That’s why weed whacking is so effective. Property owners must clear at least a 100-foot perimeter around homes and structures. Starting this week, CalFire will

be inspecting properties in the high-risk areas of Marsh Creek and Morgan Territory. They will issue warnings to homeowners with unmowed grassland next to homes. If necessary, those failing to comply will get a citation. Residents in the rural areas east of the Clayton city limits are in the East County Fire Protection District which contracts with CalFire to staff the Sunshine Marsh Creek station year around. Last month, Marcucci and East County interim chief, Brian Helmick, co-hosted an open house at the Sunshine Station where visitors could see topographical maps of the area showing the designated evacuation routes in the event of a wildfire. Beginning in mid-July, Morgan Territory Road will be


700 Kelly Ave., Martinez


Charming single level 3 bedroom 2 bath home with approximately 1600 sq feet of living space. Great layout and tons of potential! Ideally located for easy commute. Offered at $474,900


1919 Ygnacio Valley Rd., unit 24, Walnut Creek

Immaculate 2-bedroom, 1st floor condo unit/no steps to entry. Full bath was updated 12/2016. Property has fenced outdoor patio for relaxing & entertaining. Ideally located close to Walnut Creek BART, dining, & shopping. Pets allowed with owner approval. $2150/month

Leigh Klock, Senior Real Estate Specialist Accredited Staging Professional



Call me for details on my upcoming Clayton listings.

CalFire Batallion Chief Mike Marcucci goes over a wildfire evacuation plan at a community open house on June 4.

Marsh Creek-Morgan Territory-Russelmann Park evacuation plan and fire-safety brochure at the Clayton Pio-

neer office, 6200 Center St., Ste H in Clayton, or at the CalFire Sunshine Station, 11851 Marsh Creek Road.

Community joins forces for Hookston trail project



CalBRE# 01874255

closed to through traffic about a mile in from Marsh Creek Rd. for approximately 12 weeks for construction to repair damage from a major landslide last winter. During the construction, residents south of the slide will be routed over a temporary access road connecting to Marsh Creek. In the event of a wildfire requiring evacuation, those Morgan Territory residents north of the closure will evacuate to Clayton via Marsh Creek Rd. Those south of the closure will evacuate via the temporary access road. Wildland fire engines “that can go anywhere” are stationed at the Sunshine Station and CalFire has established two emergency routes from the Marsh Creek station into the area south of the closure. Area residents can pick up a copy of the Clayton Area-

On June 12, I held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Hookston Station Landscaping Project. The project provides a second paved trail adjacent to the Iron Horse Trail for pedestrians, along with new

trees, shrubs and a historical sign to offer trail users information on this former railroad corridor. Mark Scott Construction built this Contra Costa County project, which was funded with Park Dedication and East Bay Regional Park District Measure WW grant funds. It was completed in partnership with the Colony Park Neighbors Association, East Bay Regional Park District and the Iron Horse Corridor Advisory Committee. The project is adjacent to the Iron Horse Trail between Hookston Road and Mayhew Way in Pleasant Hill. We had a great turnout for this event, including East Bay Regional Park District board director Beverly Lane, Pleasant Hill City Councilwoman

Sue Noack and Walnut Creek City Councilman Kevin Wilk. We also had representatives from the business community, including Steve Van Dorn, executive director and CEO of the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, and Lynette Busby, executive director of Contra Costa Centre Transit Village. This project is a great example of how the county can collaborate with the community on a project that will benefit all residents who utilize our extensive trail system. I want to thank the community and all of our partners that helped to bring this vision to fruition.

Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to

Heat wave data a matter of degrees and longevity



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Last month, the Bay Area endured a strong heat wave with afternoon maximum temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees for several consecutive days. A comparison to historical hot spells offers a good idea of the severity of the recent event. First let’s look at the atmospheric conditions that need to be in place for a heat wave to develop. It all starts in the jet stream, a ribbon of air thousands of feet above the earth’s surface. Our summer season heating cycle occurs when jet level high-pressure ridges move west to east at our latitude. When a ridge moves over California, temperatures heat up. Bay Area coastal valleys cool off significantly when the ridge moves east and weakens. This allows a surface level sea breeze to develop and draw cool marine air inland. The main ingredient needed for a Bay Area heat wave is an abnormally strong upper atmosphere high-pressure system that locks in place over our state. These systems allow excessive surface heating to occur in California’s Central Valley. A strong ridge will also generate offshore winds at the surface that not only shut off the sea breeze, but also push hot valley air into East Bay neighborhoods.


consecutive days. At the peak of this heat wave, the maximum temperature in Concord was 111 two days in a row. Beginning June 16 this year, maximum temperatures were in the upper 90s or hotter for seven consecutive days. On five of those days, maximums reached or exceeded the 100degree mark. The peak 2017 heat wave temperature in Concord was 108. The obvious conclusion is that last month’s heat wave doesn’t measure up to the 2006 event. I was curious, however, to see how it compared to other recent hot weather events. Prior to last month, the strongest heat wave in Concord since 2006 occurred during late June and early July 2013. Like last month’s event, the 2013 heat spell included seven consecutive days of upper 90s and hotter. However, the maximum temperature of the 2013 event was 104 degrees, not quite as hot as last month’s peak. It’s safe to say that our recent heat event was the most severe since 2006. It’s also safe to say that it can get a lot hotter.

Strong stationary ridges create the most intense heat waves. With that background, we can compare heat wave events. For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll refer to temperature data recorded at the Concord Airport. While it certainly gets hotter in other portions of the Concord/Clayton area, comparative statistics from the airport represent the region well. Just about anyone who has lived in the area for the last two decades will remember the heat wave of July 2006. Statistical analysis of data from that event indicates it was about a one-in-50 year event. Concord temperature stats show that afternoon maximums of 95 or greater were recorded for 12 consecutive Woody Whitlatch is a meteordays during the 2006 event. ologist retired from PG&E. Email Even more impressive is the your questions or comments to fact that maximums of 105 or greater were recorded for six

July 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 5

In this tree’s case, more trunks are better



There is an excellent specimen of a multi-trunk smoke bush planted in the meridian of Clayton Road and Old Marsh Creek Road. The smoke bush has round, reddish-brown foliage and is surrounded with trailing new gold lantana. It is a successful drought-tolerant and sun-loving combination. This multi-trunk smoke bush has folks interested in finding out more about this fabulous ornamental tree and other considerations that embrace the same shape. Multi-trunk is a term used in landscaping to describe the shape of a tree that has multiple trunks and is low branching. Typically a tree or large shrub that is multi-trunk exposes a third to half of its height with its legs (trunk), and the remaining structure has lateral branches and foliage. It is


common to see crape myrtle, smoke bush, madrone, redbud and olive trees assume this natural shape. Smoke bushes have extremely desirable attributes. This small tree is very hardy to drought, sun and heat. It has reddish-brown foliage from spring through early fall. In autumn, its leaves change to yellow and orange. For the past few years, some have chosen to install a smoke bush rather than a redleafed Japanese maple. You can expect a multi-trunk smoke

bush to mature to about 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, making it a lovely foundation plant for a water-wise landscape. Crape myrtles are a common street tree. We see them planted all around town and in many landscapes. The multitrunk shape is the crape myrtle’s natural form. Aside from the summer flowers, another fabulous feature of the crape myrtle is its striking, smooth bark. The size of a mature crape myrtle varies, depending on the selection. Arbutus Marina is a hardy,

When all else fails, a squirt of blood will do the trick


As I was poking along Mitchell Canyon Road two years ago in June, I met another lone hiker and we fell into step together. Lee-Hong was out to take

some snaps of birds. He seemed to have a keen eye as well as a good camera, so I felt fortunate for his companionship. I learn a lot from other hikers.

DTRT, from page 3 from DVMS since the sixth grade. Bannister recognized her for her civic and school service. Natalie will continue to write for the Pioneer when she begins her freshman year at Northgate High in the fall. It has taken great courage for young Angela Doria to overcome a hearing impairment, said Bannister. Angela

Lee-Hong Chang

has served on the leadership team and is a “vital person around school,” Bannister said. Angela received the school’s Spirit Award at the end of the school year. And finally Sam Mudriyan has met the President’s Fitness Standards every semester for his three years at DVMS.


But it wasn’t a bird that took our breath away that day. We hadn’t timed our hike all that well. It was an early afternoon during the drought, so Mitchell Creek was dead dry and the sun was hot. The birds had done the sensible thing and retired into the shade to wait for evening. So we tromped along with few sightings. When we came to the picnic table near the head of the canyon, we sat down for some lunch. We talked while munching our sandwiches. Then LeeHong fell silent. He flashed his eyes at me, directing my own to the bare ground next to the picnic table. There, in a

See Lizard, page 12

“Do the Right Thing” is a community-wide character initiative which focuses on developing a community culture that is built on good character.  By focusing on six common character traitsthroughout the school year the community as a whole is able to rally around the same trait at the same time. The six traits are: Courage, Responsibility, Respect, Kindness, Self-discipline, Integrity.


Live Band, Classic Car Show, free hors d’oeuvres, $6 wine glasses, themed food kiosks, and Pro Shop Sale

evergreen tree available at nurseries in both a tree shape and a multi-trunk shape. This evergreen has dark green leaves and periodic, pendulous flowers. One of the most unforgettable features of Arbutus Marina is its exceptional bark, which is cinnamon colored. It makes an outstanding landscaping specimen. When installed as a multi-trunk tree, you get the opportunity to enjoy more of this tree’s best feature. Arbutus will grow large, so expect 18-20 feet tall and 9-10 feet wide. This evergreen needs minimal summer water, tolerates our hot summers and isn’t picky about our clay soil. Multi-trunk western redbuds are spring-blooming ornamental trees with medium green, heart-shaped leaves. In late February, before its leaves emerge, the western redbud’s two-lipped flowers of magenta-purple line its woody stems. Install multitrunk western redbud on a Clayton hillside this autumn, and you’ll be thoroughly pleased once early spring arrives. Fruitless olive trees thrive

in heat and love drought conditions. They keep their powdery gray leaves all year long. The leaves also provide contrast to many of the green plants found in local landscapes. Fruitless olives are slow-growing trees, so you should expect to pay more for them.

Multi-trunk trees can make successful landscape installations, providing unique shapes with tons of interest. Nicole is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden. You can contact her with questions or comments by email at

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Page 6

Clayton Pioneer •

Mayor, from page 1

after an incident. It is expected the system’s operation will commence by mid-summer. These systems will not be monitored daily or by personnel and will not be used to issue traffic citations or monitor compliant citizen activities. The purpose of ALPRs, used increasingly by neighboring cities, is to assist the Police Department in its detection of noted vehicles suspected of use in prior criminal activity and to further deter the criminal element from entering Clayton. The “event” cameras will assist the Police Department in its continuing efforts to keep the community safe from those with criminal or nefarious intent.

ton. The proclamation was enacted in recognition of Mangini’s retirement after serving 21 years as pastor at St. Bonaventure’s Church. Mangini was further honored at a retirement dinner on June 17 attended by about 560 parish and community members. The city of Clayton was well represented at Mangini’s retirement, not only by many community members of the St. Bonaventure parish but also by Councilwoman Julie Pierce City Manager Gary Napper and mayor Jim Diaz. Representatives from regional, state and federal government included County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff. State Senator CITY PROCLAIMS FATHER Steve Glazier and Assemblyman RICHARD MANGINI DAY Tim Grayson and Congressman The City Council proclaimed Mark DeSaulnier. Sunday, June 18, 2017, as Father Send comments to the mayor at Richard Mangini Day in Clay-

Car Show, from page 1

year participating in the Clayton Classic Car Show. The Corvette used to be a race car and had quite a rough history before he bought it 35 years ago. “I got it in pieces,” Dennis recalls. “The car was a mess. It was a total disaster.” Looking at the car today, you would be hard-pressed to find any evidence that it hadn’t

always been in perfect condition. Car shows bring people with the same interests together, and that’s what Dennis enjoys. He also appreciates talking with people who aren’t familiar with classic cars but are interested in learning about his work. “You make people happy. It’s fun,” he says.

Clayton Valley Medical Group

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ance in the General Fund of $5,493,492 – 123 percent of next year’s expenses. “If we had to, we could actually operate for a full year on reserves alone,” said Finance Manager Kevin Mizuno in his budget report. “We would never have to do that, but for a city our size, this is very healthy.” New efficiencies will result from a reorganization of the maintenance department. The city will eliminate the second Maintenance Supervisor position, Maintenance Worker I employees will be elevated to Maintenance Worker II, and the Maintenance Lead Worker

City of Clayton Budgets Budget Area

FY 2017-18

FY 2016-17

FY 2015-16

FY 2014-15

Other Funds*





General Fund CIP

Successor Agency TOTAL



4,261,720 2,919,565





4,095,928 1,696,863



will be renamed Senior Maintenance Worker. In addition to efficiency gains, these moves recognize long-term employees for their many years of service to the city. Nothing gives financial managers heartburn more

than uncertainty. Over the past two years, the city has had to deal with large spikes in employer pension contributions, which have caused large fluctuations in its unfunded liability. The city was able to cover last year’s

Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Planned Project Activity - FY 2017-18 Project Description


El Molino Drive Sanitary Sewer Improvement ......................10422 Keller Ridge Collector Street Rehabilitation ...........................10425 2018 Neighborhood Street Repave ......................................10436 El Portal Restoration...............................................................10439 Clayton Community Park Lower Field Rehabilitation............10440 One Bay Area Grant Street Preservation Project ..................10441 North Valley Park Playground Rehab.....................................10442

Total Projected Project Expenditure

Proposed Expenditures $ 503,500 526,000 610,556 250,000 50,000 365,400 165,800


In addition to these planned expenditures, the following projects will be funded in FY 2017-18 to build up reserves for future project costs:

We accept most insurance plans

After graduating from St. Patrick’s at the age of 26, Mangini was ordained a priest at Most Precious Blood Church in Concord on May 17, 1967. As a newly ordained priest at Church of the Assumption in San Leandro, Mangini was full of new ideas, most of which the pastor, Father Thomas Browne, turned down with a terminal, “Over my dead body.” “But I never let that prevent me from being a priest,” Mangini emphasizes, “and doing what I felt needed to be done for people’s spiritual welfare.”

BUILDING COMMUNITY In 1972, Mangini returned to school, obtaining a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley in order to take over as head editor of the Catholic Voice, the Oakland diocese’s official newspaper. He was editor of the

FY 2013-14










*Includes the City’s special revenue (11), internal service (2), enterprise (1), and fiduciary funds (8).

Mangini, from page 1

Complete comprehensive care from newborn through the golden years


from page 1

5 Year Budget Trend

1. ADA Compliance Program (CIP 10394A) ...........................................................................$6,000 2. Utility Undergrounding (CIP 10397) .................................................................................$21,000

Welcoming new patients

5439 Clayton Road, Suite B, Clayton


July 7, 2017

publication until 1980, but it wasn’t until 1996 that he returned to his hometown of Concord as pastor of St. Bonaventure Catholic Church. Anthony and Christine Romano, parishioners of St. Bonaventure since the mid1960s, both agree that their first impression of Mangini was a good one. “He was going to add some more life to the parish,” says Christine Romano. “He was very outgoing and he expressed an interest in the parishioners that he talked with,” Tony Romano agrees. Mangini’s own impression of St. Bonaventure was just as good. “My reflection in coming (to St. Bonaventure) is coming to a very wellestablished Catholic parish with a very well-established community spirit,” he says. Mangini goes on to explain that his desire was not so

much to change St. Bonaventure, but to continue to develop its community. One of the ways he has done this is through inviting people into the ministry. “The thing I like most (about being pastor) is the interaction with the people. And I think I have a gift for that kind of interconnection.” Christa Fairfield, Parish Life director at St. Bonaventure since 2002, has experienced this gift firsthand. She had just left a corporate job when Mangini approached her and offered her a position at St. Bonaventure. “The thing I’ve learned about (Mangini) is that he’s really good at seeing what someone could do, and inviting them to do that,” says Fairfield.

BIG SHOES Mangini retired from his position as pastor on July 1. “I feel very happy and fulfilled in a sense that I have done the best that I could have done for these 20 years, and I need a rest,” says Mangini. “I am very hopeful

spike. Due to uncontrollable market swings and actuarial changes the city expects another large spike in 2018. As a hedge against future fluctuations, the city established a Pension Contribution Stabilization Fund and will contribute $110,000 for fiscal year 2017-18 to help offset the spike. The funds result from an anticipated revenue gap that failed to materialize last year in the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency. Street rehabilitation and paving projects make up 70 percent of the $2,471,256 Capital Improvement Budget. The remaining budget is split between $503,000 for sanitation and sewer improvements on El Molino Drive and two city parks. North Valley Park will see playground improvements and new equipment for $165,800. The final $50,000 is allocated to Clayton Community Park for rehabilitation of the lower field. Carina Romano contributed to this story.

that the new priest to come will continue to build upon what we have built to the present time.” Mangini understands that with every new leader comes change.“People have said ‘Oh, they have big shoes to fill.’” Mangini recalls a similar situation when taking over as editor of the Catholic Voice. He had been standing with the former editor when someone said to him, “you have big shoes to fill.”The former editor, answering on his behalf, replied, “I have my own shoes, and I’m taking them with me.” Mangini encourages the community of St. Bonaventure to take this open perspective with their new pastor, Father Mathew Vellankal, who took over July 1. Though Mangini is no longer a full-time priest at St. Bonaventure, he still plans to remain a part of the parish, officiating baptisms, funerals and weddings when requested. He will also be available to lead mass throughout the Oakland diocese.

July 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

P.O. Box 1246 6200 Center Street, Suite H, Clayton, CA 94517

TAMARA AND R OBERT S TEINER , Publishers TAMARA S TEINER , Editor P ETE C RUZ , Graphic Design B EV B RITTON , Copy Editor J AY B EDECARRÉ, Sports PAMELA W IESENDANGER , Administration, Calendar Editor

To escape from heat, head over to the library

S TAFF W RITERS : Pamela Wiesendanger, Jay Bedecarré, Bev Britton

C ORRESPONDENTS : Kara Navolio, John T. Miller I NTERN : Carina Romano

Remembering Jill Bedecarré


Tel: (925) 672-0500 Fax: (925) 672-6580

Tamara Steiner Send ads to Send Sports News to Send Club News to Send School News to LET US KNOW Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, births and deaths all weave together as part of the fabric of our community. Please let us know of these important events. We ask only that the announcement be for a resident in our home delivery area. Submit on our website and be sure to attach a JPG photo that is at least 3 MB but not bigger than 6MB. You can also mail or bring your print to the office and we can scan it for you. Also on the website are forms for calendar items, events & press releases. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Both Pioneer newspapers welcome letters from our readers. As a general rule, letters should be 175 words or less and submitted at least one week prior to publication date. Letters concerning current issues will have

priority. We may edit letters for length and clarity. All letters will be published at the editor’s discretion. Please include name, address and daytime telephone number. We will not print anonymous letters. E-mail your letter to Letters must be submitted via E-mail. CIRCULATION

Total circulation of the Clayton Pioneer is 5,500 to ZIP code 94517, all delivered by US Mail to homes and businesses. We cannot start or stop free delivery to individual addresses. This must be done directly through the Post Office. The Concord Pioneer is delivered monthly to 30,500 in Concord by carrier. Papers are delivered once a month on a Friday morning near the end of the month. To stop delivery for any reason, call the office at (925) 672-0500 or send an email to If you are NOT receiving the Pioneer, please check the distribution map on the website. If you live in the shaded area and are not receiving the paper, please call us or send an email to If you are not in the shaded area, please be patient. We will come to your neighborhood soon.

SUBSCRIPTIONS To subscribe, call the office at (925) 672-0500. Subscriptions are $35/year for each paper, $60/year for both.





Tempers seem to rise with the increased heat, as we have seen a rise in calls for service. Please be considerate while driving and take a breath when things get stressful. Remember we are fortunate to have a wonderful community; let’s keep it that way. Please note that your RVs or boats need a permit when parked in the street. When guests visit our residential areas in RVs, they should also have a permit. That also includes their boats. Please come to the Police Department and get a permit or go online at Theft is still occurring from vehicles, along with mail that has been left in the mailboxes. Our citywide camera system should be in place by the end of July, and then the officers will need training to utilize and access the equipment. We just hired another officer who is in training, and we are at full staff. Please enjoy the summer and be safe and considerate of others.

When the heat wave came through the area, we established a location in the city where people could come to cool off. The Clayton Library is a good place to beat the heat and have the opportunity to relax and read. When the library is closed on Fridays, we will open Hoyer Hall next to the library as an air-conditioned environment in which people can relax. The Hoyer Hall opening will occur when the temperature reaches 95 degrees or higher, and it will be open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. To confirm that Hoyer Hall will be open on Fridays, please call 673-7350. Another reminder during Chris Wenzel is Chief of Police extreme heat is to not leave of Clayton. Send questions and comchildren or pets unattended in ments to a vehicle. It’s dangerous – and or call (925) 673-7350 illegal.

Recognize these bikes?

Around noon on Feb. 5, police found a blue/gray Next bicycle on the Cardinet Trail near the 11th hole of Oakhurst golf course.

Page 7

Directory of Advertisers Area code 925 unless otherwise indicated

Business Services

Rising Moon Marketing & Public Relations . . . .672-8717 Construction and Trades

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Tipperary Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216-2679 Dining and Entertainment

Clayton Club Saloon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .673-0440

Oakhurst Country Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9737 Events

CBCA – BBQ Cook Off . . . . . Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market . . . . . . . .(800) 949-3276 Financial, Insurance and Legal Services

Van Wyck, Doug – State Farm Insurance . . . .672-2300 Funerals

Ouimet Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .682-4242 Health and Wellness

Clayton Valley Medical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-6744 Home and Garden

Clayton Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .686-2299 Diablo Lawnscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381-3757 Interiors Panache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-7920 Nichols Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .672-9955

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Waraner Bros. Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .831-2323 Waraner Tree Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250-0334

In the pre-dawn hours of May 28 they found another bicycle behind Safeway. This one is a purple Kent girls bike.

Mailing Services

The UPS Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .689-6245 Real Estate and Mortgage Services

Bennett, Nancy – Keller Williams . . . . . . . . . . .606-8400

Clayton Fair Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .685-0324

French, Lynne – Windermere Real Estate . . . .672-8787 Klock, Leigh – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . . . . . .212-5593 Lopez, Stephanie – Coldwell Banker . . . . . . . .305-9099

The police need help in identifying the owners of these two bikes. Please call Clayton PD, 925.673.7350 if you have any information.

Mazzei, Matt – Mazzei Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0757

Ruskus Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .980-8301 Stojanovich, Jennifer – Better Homes Realty . .567-6170

Vujnovich, George - Better Homes Realty . . . .672-4433 Services, Other

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Do the Right Thing


Page 8

Clayton Pioneer •

July 7, 2017

Swim season heats up with Devil Mountain Pentathlon this weekend leading the way toward championship meets

DHST doesn’t count in the team standings. Admission is free for anyone wishing to come out and view the meet, which begins at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday and Sunday. The Dana Hills pool is located at 298 Mountaire Cir. in Clayton.

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Each summer the recreation swim community focuses for one weekend on Clayton. The 23rd annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon entertains over 1100 swimmers on 16 teams this Saturday and Sunday in the Dana Hills pool with both Clayton teams, Dana Hills Otters and Oakhurst Country Club Orcas, taking part. The Pentathlon is by far the biggest meet in Clayton each year and whets the appetite for the meets that will culminate the season next month: 51st Concord Swimming Championships Aug. 4-6 and the 57th Contra Costa County Championships in Lafayette Aug. 12-13. Devil Mountain Pentathlon brings together teams and swimmers for a unique event that has each boy and girl swimming five events in one day. It’s not only a one-of-akind meet for the swimmers but also the Clayton team’s major annual fundraiser to supplement family fees to pay the coaching staff, meet entry fees and other expenses. The Pentathlon was the brainchild of Dana Hills swim team parents Mike and Toni Biel. At the first Pentathlon in 1995 there were six teams. Three of them—Springwood Sprinters, Pleasant Hill Aquatics Penguins and DHST— are involved this year along with 13 more teams—- Bishop Estates Barracudas, Forest Hills Beavers, 2016 City Meet runners-up Forest

Jay Bedecarré

Dana Hills Swim Team hosts the 22nd annual Devil Mountain Pentathlon with over 1100 swimmers on 16 teams this Saturday and Sunday in the Dana Hills pool. Both Clayton teams, Dana Hills Otters and Oakhurst Country Club Orcas, are taking part. among the 200 swimmers representing the host Otters are, from bottom to top, John Parker (15), Rachael Miller (13), Kamryn Kramer (12), aiden acosta (7), Dominick Maffei (10) and Kaitlyn Whittlinger (6).

2 BIG MEETS IN AUGUST Next month, Dana Hills will be seeking its 25th Concord City Meet championship in the last 26 years since the Otters won their first A Division title in 1992. The 51st City Meet includes 12 teams with Pleasant Hill Dolfins, Crock-ettes and Forest Hills Swim Team of Martinez joining nine Concord and Clayton teams in the competition. Bishop Estates, Dana Hills, Forest Park Flyers, Gehringer Gators, Oakhurst, Walnut Country, Springwood, Vista Diablo and Ygnacio Wood complete the field. Last August, the Orcas won their third consecutive sportsmanship trophy, had their bestever A Division finish in fifth and also matched their highest City Meet team finish when they repeated as third in B Division. DHST have been in the top five at County the past six years while 11-time County champs Crow Canyon Country Club heads the list of contenders in Lafayette again. The Otters finished third in the 2016 team standings, same as in 2015. The Clayton team’s best-ever finish at County was second in 1995 and 2011.

Park Flyers, Livorna Dolphins, LMYA Dolphins, Martinez Community Otters, Oakhurst, Pleasant Hill Dolfins, Sun Valley Rays, Sycamore Stingrays, Vista Diablo Dolphins, Walnut Country Stingrays and Ygnacio Wood

Seahorses. Meet coordinator Shauna Maffei says that this weekend’s Pentathlon features the younger age groups (six and unders through 9-10 girls) competing on Saturday and the

12 year olds: Ryan Buddle, Brady Christiansen, Corbin Clifton, Ryan Cuddy, Luke Cuneo, Ethan Davies, Cody DeMartini, Jake Dern, Casey Forester, Dylan Gentile, Dane Jorgensen, Gabe Lauricella, Jake Solis, Dominic Vines, Ryan Ward, Alex Walker. 11 year olds: Jack Dress, Aidan Hendricks, Jackson Huffman, Ethan Cline, Ben Hosler, Nate Luehs, Owen Luedtke, Nate Mahoney, Joey Postelwaite, Colton Seastrand, AC Young, Zack Peterson. 10 year olds: Michael Albert, Blayne Ballard, Keagan D’Arcy, Luke Dress, Lustig Tanner, Kai Parker, Jacob Jensen, Logan Knapp, Jamison Martin, Kieran Schmitt, Logan Remington, Mateo Perez; Alternates- Joe Knapp, Brad Jensen, Chris Albert. Minor B Red: Nate Lauricella, Nathan Allen, Harrison Hornsby, Tyson Lovett, Henry Cox, Bryce Syrovatka, Benjamin Duran, Dylan Gettrost, Aiden Newberry, Charlie Habermeyer, Nolan Trautner, Coy White,

Cooper Smith, Keith 10 year olds: Ruby Ally DeMartini, Jordan Feeny, Samantha Padilla, Emmalee McCormick, Alexander Mack- Batholomew, Addison Baxter, Sophia Groce, Dalilah Lawler, Usedom, Elizabeth Wallace, echnie, Dominic Griffin. Brooke Burns, Camille Cherepy, Alexis Lopez, Payton Marino, Antoinette Wirth. Minor B Blue: Thomas Borbely, Dominic Celentano, Joseph Lucia Jr., Cody Ross, Tyler Summers, Daniel Villasenor, Brady Frias, Lukas Kamrud, Joshua Peach, Keon Monsef, Everette Ward, Jared Hubbard, Brooks Bradburn, Luke Goetz, Joaquin Hernandez, Wyatt Pursche, Robert Coronel.

olders (9-10 boys through 1518 boys and girls) on Sunday. Oakhurst Orcas have entered nearly 50 swimmers in the Pentathlon while Dana Hills will have about 200 competing. The meet recognizes and

rewards all of the kids who participate [everyone gets an “I survived the Devil Mountain Pentathlon” ribbon] plus heat and stroke awards. The awards are no different for A and B flights. As the host team

Clayton Valley Little League wraps up 2017 season JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Clayton Valley Little League’s regular-season, District 4 Tournament of Champions and allstar play has wrapped up the 2017 season. On the baseball side, the major division Los Diablos, minor A Diamondbacks and Minor B Bulls were in TOC. The DBacks won two games before losing in the semi-finals. The CVLL softball teams in TOC were the major Thunder and minor Stingrays. All-Star play began in late June culminating with the international Little League World Series (11-12 year-olds) in Williamsport, PA Aug. 17-27. CLAYTON VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAMS:

Baseball 50/70: Ian Alexander, Nathan Barrera, A. J. Butler, Joey Dern, Aidan Hopfner, Ian Kelly, Kody Lewis, Jeremiah Lopez, Liam Trost, Jason Zimmer.

Softball 12 year olds: Cassidy Baker, Sofia Carmichael, Makaella Cherepy, Grace Geisler, Emma Gius, Damia Glaze, Gianna Orozco, Mikaela Pike, Ella Potts, Clarice Reinwald, Isabella Scolini, Emily Storn, Jenna Cooper, Sarah Graff. 11 year olds: Avery Baxter, Esme Chadic, Jasmine Chohlis, Genevieve Dennis, Carly Fassio, Morgan Grove, Jasmine Hatanaka, Jenna Kissinger, Jessie Lovett, Anja Perreira, Abbey Potts, Katherine Pugh, Jacqueline Sanchez, Raigen Vandiver.

Photos courtesy Clayton Valley Little League

CVLL Diamondbacks defeated the Giants to win the minor a division championship and then moved on to the District 4 aaa Tournament of Champions. The Diamondbacks scored 11 runs in each of their first to games to reach the semi-finals of the TOC before they were on the short end as Est County put 11 runs up against the DBacks. The team included, front row from left, Jameson Martin, Kai Parker, Michael albert, Jacob Hillesheim, Jackson MacDonald, Luke Hillesheim; middle row, Oliver Landgraf, Kenny Padilla, Logan Knapp, Travis Thys, Nick Gibb, Beau Freihofner; back row, Billy Martin, Chris albert, Joe Knapp and Kevin Parker.

The Los Diablos won the Clayton Valley Little League major division regular-season championship but then the team lost its opening game of the league playoffs to the Mudcats. That meant manager Mike Lauricella’s team had to win three straight games in the loser’s bracket to earn a rematch with the Mudcats. Los Diablos needed to beat their foes twice and they were able to do that with 7-5 and 18-5 victories. The major division champs were, from left, manager Lauricella, Gabe Lauricella, Joey Postlethwaite, Ryan Buddle, Ethan alden, Tyler Brown, zack Peterson, Jake Solis, TJ arvizu, Corbin Clifton, Ryan Bomar, Jackson Spalding, coach Ken Solis and coach Wes Bomar. Not pictured, Nick Johnson.


July 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Athlete Spotlight

Shawn Boland

Age: 10 Team: Dana Hills Swim Team Sport: Swimming

“Shawn exemplifies Dana Hills Otter Pride in so many ways,” says DHST co-head coach Heidi McMillan. The incoming sixth grader at Diablo View Middle School has already qualified for the end-of-the-season County Meet in his favorite event, the 100yard individual medley, and also in the 50 butterfly for the Otters, who have

won many prestigious meets over the years because of swimmers with an attitude like his. “He comes to practice every day, eager to work hard, have fun and motivated to reach his goals. He is always positive and often seen cheering on his teammates. He is always happy for other’s accomplishments. Shawn is a not only

a great athlete, but truly a great person, teammate and friend,” his coach says. The Clayton boy will be taking part in the Devil Mountain Pentathlon this weekend. He started on the DHST eight years ago with twin sister Molly when they were three-years-old following in the footsteps of their older sister Ryanne. Molly has been highpoint swimmer at City and County meets and all three Boland siblings have been part of record-breaking Otter relay teams. Shawn Boland also has taken part in the New Wave fall swim program.

Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Send your nomination for the Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today to

Photo courtesy Diablo FC

West Regionals recently in Davis, beating the host Davis Legacy 9 Red 2-0 in the championship game. The Diablo FC girls outscored their Regional opponents 11-1 including a key 2-1 win over San Juan ECNL

Sports Shorts

CV grad Jesse Medrano signs pro contract with Pittsburgh Pirates

The Clayton Pioneer congratulates Shawn and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Clayton and Concord area for 25 years at Family Vision Care Optometry.

Diablo FC U18 girls ranked No. 1 in America after US Club championship

Coach Zach Sullivan’s Diablo FC 99/00 girls with four Clayton Valley Charter High School players on the roster, are ranked No. 1 in America and solidified that position by winning the US Club Soccer

Page 9

99 team. Seven of the team’s players have already committed to colleges. They will be playing in the Davis Legacy Showcase and Surf Cup in San Diego this summer. They won the Cal North State Cup in

4-5 weeks. The trainee sessions are for ages four and up who are new to the sport. Swimmers must be comfortable in deep water and DIABLO FC JENNA BETTI MEMORIAL able to swim 25 yards. Registration is open for the July 31-Sept. 3 session at Clark SUMMER CAMP NEXT WEEK Memorial Swim Center in Walnut Creek. RegCompetitive soccer club Diablo FC and istration for both programs can be found at the family of Jenna Betti have announced a “camp like no other” for July 10-14. Participating local college athletes and aspiring colCONCORD PICKLEBALL LEAGUES lege athletes have prepared a fun-filled and START THIS WEEK developmentally-packed week of soccer City of Concord is offering men’s, women’s aimed at boys  and girls ages 7-15. Each day and coed pickleball leagues and is accepting regwill emphasize the technical framework of istration for teams and individuals. Organized soccer. The half-day sessions next week are at by skill level, these round robin structured Hidden Lakes Field in Martinez on brand leagues are designed so teams play against new turf field.  The camp is  geared toward teams of roughly equal ability making league local players in a variety of age and skill lev- play fun and equitable. Matches are played over els. For questions email a two-hour time span with teams playing six  or phone 408-3683. games per night. The league season is six weeks Visit for details. with qualifying teams advancing to a playoff

April. The team includes, front row from left, Marianna Giovannetti, Makayla Netcott, Jessie Verderame, Carly Ortega, Santana Merryfield, Susanna Garcia, Kaytlin Brinkman, Alexandra Diaz, Sophia Runte, Jenae Packard, Samantha Gotz, Annie Brown; back row, Emily Kaleal, Holly Gallagher, Amanda Zodikoff, Julia Hagedorn and Mikeila Martinez. Not pictured, coach Zach Sullivan and players Katie Hollister, Kari Lewis, Francesca Monti, Stephanie Neys, Kylie Schneider and Sophie Harrington. Cal goalkeeper commit Zodikoff,  Gallagher,  Verderame and Kaleal are CVCHS students.


Photo courtesy Fresno State athletics

JAY BEDECARRÉ Clayton Pioneer

Former two-sport Clayton Valley Charter High School star Jesse Medrano has signed a professional baseball contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Medrano and three De La Salle alums were selected in the Major League Baseball draft last month. Michael Brdar, Allen Smoot and Hunter Mercado-Hood are the former Spartans who were picked in the draft. Medrano was drafted as a third baseman in the 31st round by the Pirates. He was the Diablo Valley Athletic League football defensive MVP as a CVCHS senior and then shared the league’s 2013 MVP baseball award before moving on to Fresno State. He signed his contract with the Pirates June 27 at PNC Park. On his Twitter page showing photos of him signing the contract, Medrano said, “A big thanks to the @Pirates for the opportunity.” Medrano and seven Fresno State teammates were selected in the MLB draft. He’s the eighth Bulldog to be drafted by Pittsburgh since 2006. A first-team All-Mountain West selection as a senior this season, Medrano saved his best Fresno State season for his last as he ranked second on the team and 15th in the conference with a .346 batting average. He tied for fourth in the MW in triples, ranked sixth in doubles and runs scored and finished eighth in the league in hits. He totaled 27 multi-hit games and added 12 multi-RBI games on the season. He matched his career high with four hits on Senior Day against New Mexico, smacking a home run, drove in three RBIs and scored three runs in a 15-9 win over the Lobos. Medrano played 190 games

over four years at Fresno, including a career-high 60 this year. During his time at Clayton Valley he played for three head baseball coaches under Bob Ralston, Herc Pardi and Casey Coakley. Over his three years on varsity the team reached the North Coast Section quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, losing in the Section championship game his sophomore year. The three De La Salle players were teammates on the 2012 NCS champion Spartans. Smoot was just drafted as a senior from the University of San Francisco in the 40th round by the Tampa Bay Rays. He was a first team all-West Coast Conference infielder this year after finishing second in the conference batting race with a .364 average. He redshirted one year at USF after playing at College of San Mateo for two years following his 2012 graduation from DLS. Brdar, a classmate of Smoot’s at DLS, was taken in the 36th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. He concluded his Wolverine career as a firstteam all-Big Ten shortstop this spring. He played two seasons at Diablo Valley College before transferring to Michigan. DLS coach David Jeans called Mercado-Hood “the best pure hitter I have ever seen.” The 2013 Spartan grad was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 31st round out of the University of San Diego. He was a four-year mainstay for the Toreros after being named all-East Bay Athletic League three years for the Spartans. The lefty hit .495 as a DLS senior. DLS coach Jeans also tweeted: “Two guys get drafted that represent grinding. Michael Brdar and Jesse Medrano.”

night in the final week. Players looking to join a team should contact the Sports Office at 6713423 to be added to the pickleball free agent Concord High School is looking for 2017- list. To register or for details on dates, times and 18 varsity girls tennis, JV girls water polo, varsi- fees go to ty boys water polo, varsity girls basketball and varsity boys tennis coaches. Send resume and DIABLO FC OFFERING references to AD Megan  Coddington at codPLAYER EVALUATIONS Stipends available. Formal tryouts for Diablo FC under 8 Coaching requirements include MDUSD Fin- through U19 competitive teams (birth years gerprints, Current TB test, First Aid/CPR, Sud- 1999-2011) have concluded but coaches are still den Cardiac Arrest and Concussion certifica- holding player evaluations. Visit to tion through NFHS.  get more information and signup for the appro-



priate age group evaluation.


Walnut Creek Aquanuts are offering “Try SOCCER CAMP NEXT WEEK It” days to introduce athletes to its synchroClayton Valley Charter High School head nized swimming program. The 90-minute boys soccer coach Guillermo Jara, a former MLS sessions are being held July 29, Sept. 2 and player with three teams, is hosting a soccer sumSept. 4. Registration is $10 for a session with mer camp next week, July 10-13, for incoming top WCA coaching staff on hand. The worldrenowned Aquanuts also offer trainee sessions over the summer and fall, each running See Sports Shorts, page 10

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 7, 2017

Diablo FC O7, MDSA United Sports Shorts, from page 9 win soccer tournament titles

third through ninth graders at Gonsalves StadiCONCORD AYSO FALL REGISTRATION STILL OPEN um. The sessions are 9 a.m. – noon geared to Concord AYSO is still accepting registration develop individual player’s skills in a fun, friendly atmosphere. To register or to get more info on for its fall soccer program with online registration. Registration fee is $175. AYSO is a great the camp email place for kids to have fun and make new friends CONCORD ADULT FALL SOFTBALL LEAGUES while learning how to play soccer. Visit concorACCEPTING APPLICANTS for details. Concord’s fall adult softball leagues for REGISTRATION OPEN FOR ALL OUT men’s, women’s and coed teams begin in September and run through mid-November. OfferSPORTS LEAGUES PROGRAMS ing games Sunday through Friday nights, the fall Summer programs for youth basketball and program serves thousands of players annually volleyball offered by All Out Sports Leagues in with leagues to accommodate all skill Clayton are taking registration online. For comlevels. Cost per team (up to 20 people) is $625 plete information on All Out Sports programs, for an eight-game season.  Additional informa- visit tion can be found at DE LA SALLE ANNOUNCES or by calling 671-3423.

Photo courtesy Diablo FC

Diablo FC 07 girls battled triple digit heat in Sacramento last month to win Cal Cup 2017. Diablo FC 07 under 11 girls went undefeated in three games with only one substitute to take them to the championship match. For the finale it was 108 degrees and the local girls played shut out Vacaville 3-0 to take the Cal Cup Gold title. The tittle-winning team includes, from left, Naomi Chrobak, Hailey Stuart, Charlotte Orr, Julianna amaya, Mikayla agnew, coach Miguel Gonzalez, Carlina Lopez, Violet Barbosa, Luz Ochoa and Kiara Walker. Not pictured, Gabriella Garcia and Mahayla zandonella-arasa.




Boys and girls 4-18 years of age wanting to play in Mt. Diablo Soccer Association fall league can still register online and will be placed on the waitlist. Fall league play begins in August when all registration closes. Families are requested to sign up for volunteer duties to help the organization offer its AYSO program. For complete information visit CLAYTON VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE HAS BASEBALL, SOFTBALL FALL PROGRAMS Softball and baseball players aged 8-12 can sign up for the Clayton Valley Little League fall program. The players will have practices in August and games against Concord American and other nearby little leagues in September and October. Players get a hat and t-shirt. Contact Dave Scolini at for more info or visit DE LA SALLE HIGH SPORT CAMPS

De La Salle High School has announced its 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. The Hall of Fame inductees this year include two teams, one coach and five athletes. They are Mike Blasquez (1992-2002 strength and conditioning coach), Tom Joseph (Class of 1985, football and wrestling), Kevin Keane (Class of 1989, basketball and track and field), Derek Landri (Class of 2002, football), Michael Salvemini (Class of 1987, football and soccer), Nick Schnabel (Class of 1996, baseball), 2001 football team and 2002 water polo team. The Sept. 10 induction in the Hofmann Student Center on the De La Salle campus is open to the public. Registration will be online at For more information, contact Lloyd Schine or by phone at 288-8171.


Clayton Valley Jr. Eagles football program is OFFERED ALL SUMMER open to players 7-14 years of age. Cheer proDe La Salle High School is hosting athletic grams begin for five-year-olds through 14. The camps for championship football, basketball, 2017 season begins Aug. 1. Visit track and field, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, for more info and to register. baseball, water polo, swimming, soccer, rugby and strength and conditioning. The camps are open to boys and girls incoming from kindergarten to ninth grades. For complete information call 288-8100 ext. 7090 or email Registration is open now at (athletic tab). Please let us know about your sports EVENING SUMMER YOUTH TENNIS CAMPS news, special events, fund raisers, tryouts, IN CONCORD signups and accomplishments. Youth Concord is offering an evening summer leagues, clubs, schools and adult programs camp for beginning and high-performance ten- are all welcome to send us a rundown on nis training for youth ages 7-17. Camps are what you’re doing. Include all the necessary grouped by age and ability and taught by Calvin details (too much information is better than McCullough, a USNTA/USPTR certified too little!) and your contact information. It’s instructor with over 20 years coaching experi- as simple as sending an email to ence. To register or for details on dates, times and fees go to

Clayton Pioneer wants to publish your sports news

Photo courtesy MDSa

MDSa United 06 girls took first in the bronze division of the San Francisco Evolution Cup. The local team scored 17 goals while posting four shutout wins. The United girls are, front row from left, Julia Pauline, Temi Okeowo, Natalya Modawar, Katelyn Calderon; middle row, Renata Salerno, Kate Bullis, Juliana Gonzales, Lilly Foskett, anja Perreira, Layla Solis, Julia Lovelace, Emery Stephens; back row, coach Matt Stephens and coach Dylan Perriera.


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Creative ideas to corral clutter in kid’s room JENNIFER LEISCHER


Toys that seem to reproduce overnight. Socks that are missing their partners. Baseball caps, Legos, Barbie dolls and brightly colored nail polish bottles pretty much everywhere. That’s a typical kid’s bedroom. During the school year, you may have been too busy to notice what’s going on in these rooms. But with summer here, life has slowed down a bit – and now there’s a spotlight beaming directly onto the clutter. Maybe it’s time to organize and find ways to increase storage. Like any design project, it’s best to have a plan. Where do things go? Do you really have room for two dressers, a bookcase and a lounge chair?

Does something need to be removed or added? Do you need to swap out a dresser for another bookcase? Or switch out the lounge chair for a desk? What makes the most sense for your child now and will that still make sense as your child grows? Keeping ahead of storage needs for children as they grow is not easy, as their storage needs change as quickly as they do. But if you have a functional furniture plan and a solid closet system, the rest of the living space is all about festive design and kid-friendly storage that they can easily access to store their treasures. For example, a second grader may not be ready to do homework unsupervised, but maybe a desk can be used in other ways. It could become a table for Legos, puzzles or a dollhouse. Or the table could display treasures. The desk drawers can be for toy storage. And you could place a clothes hamper where the chair would be. The idea is to make furniture have multiple lives as your child grows. Thinking out of the box will make furnishings go the distance. Also consider the

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untapped storage space in your child’s bedroom. The space under the bed can be scary – not because of a monster under the bed, but because it’s usually where everything gets shoved. Intentional or not, this is where clutter seems to multiply. So why not use this space for storage. A standard bedframe doesn’t give you much height, so purchase leg lifts for the bed. This will give you enough space for a plastic bin to store anything from sea-

sonal clothing to toys. You can find a longer bed skirt to complete the look. Don’t let the size of a child’s bedroom discourage you from creative storage concepts. Take advantage of the space you have and incorporate pieces of furniture that are stylish and have longevity.

Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at Cube storage offers a colorful and functional solution to de-cluttering kid spaces

Easy-breezy summer? Not anymore



When I was 8, I spent my summer swimming at Springwood Swim Team for about an hour in the morning and then having the rest of the day to hang out with my family and friends and do what my little heart desired. When I was 12, my summer consisted of a similar schedule: swim practice at Dana Hills swim team for an hour and a half to start my day and then

Artists Guild celebrates 11 years

Creekside Artists Guild cel- The celebration included din- bers Alice Martinez, Julie Van- led by high stepping Marcia ebrated their 11th anniversary ner, ukulele music, songs and Wyk and Arlene Kikkawa- David. Upcoming events on May 7 at Diamond Terrace. hula dance led by CAG mem- Nielsen as well as line dancing include art exhibits, field trips, art walks, and artist trading cards (ATC). For more information, contact Renaye Johnson,,  (925) 286-0716.

Scrabble Club

Front: Julie VanWyk, alice Martinez, arlene Kikkawa-Nielsen, Jeffrey DeSalles, Melvia Chang, Renaye Johnson. Back: Marcia David, Jerry David, Cora Flaharty, Grace Benevides, Sharon Petersen, Elaine Billeter, George Curtis Van Liew

The Scrabble Club is looking for new members. They meet on the last Saturday of the month at Carl’s Jr., 1530 Kirker Pass Road, Clayton, from 12 to 5 p.m. All skill levels are welcome. No fee to play. Bring board. For more information, call Mike at (925) 334-0081.

‘Swallow Man’ takes new turns on WWII



What makes a story worth telling? Every reader probably has her own answer, but for me “Anna and the Swallow Man” has just about everything a reader could want. Two compelling characters, Anna Lania, who finds herself abandoned on her seventh birthday, and Swallow Man, who becomes her mysteriously appearing caretaker, make the story hard to put down. The year is 1939, and the place is Krakau, Poland. Anna’s father is a linguistics professor at the university and on that particular sixth of November, he leaves Anna with his friend the butcher to look after her while he and his fellow professors attend a meeting to discuss the Nazi occupation of Poland. Anna will never see

her father again. The Nazis have no more love for intellectuals than for Jews. As readers, we’ve become nearly desensitized to revisiting WWII and the Holocaust, but author Gavriel Savit takes us not into the Warsaw ghetto, but into a Polish landscape we’ve never been before – its forests, farmlands, guarded rivers and cities’ hidden backstreets. Because Anna’s father spoke to her in myriad languages, her ethnic background is never clear. We know even less about the Swallow Man. He can speak to birds and is highly educated. He clearly intends to keep Anna and himself hidden from the Germans and even the Russians when it comes to that point in the war, when both armies hold Poland between them. How likely is it that a young child would willingly follow this tall, lanky man who refuses to tell Anna his name and, just as firmly, tells her that she is now “Sweetie” when they

speak to strangers and she, likewise, is to call him “Daddy.” But they are in the middle of a war, and the world becomes nothing Anna can count on. Nothing except, she finally realizes, the Swallow Man, a man reminding her at times of mythical fairy tale characters. In the years they keep from being found by soldiers or others who would do them harm, Anna learns lessons in silence, deception, fear, obedience, nature and, ultimately, love. The tale is as gentle as it is brutal, as realistic as it is fantastical. It is a strangely layered story ending as mysteriously as it begins, with Anna’s words, “What is out there?” Words spoken to us as well as to the fisherman in whose boat she is taken away from the encroaching conflict. The book is marketed for ages 12 and up. Based on the imaginative story and a vocabulary encompassing words like deference, Carpathian, Yid-

dish, vibrant, unreserved delight, waistcoat, liebling, Reb as in “Reb Shumlik,” proffered, exuberant, inevitable, dearth, threshold, comporting, gleaned and counterfeiting happiness, “Anna and the Swallow Man” is a book that should have a long shelf life in homes and libraries. It’s a keeper and grist mill for a seriously lively book club. Sunny Solomon is a freelance writer and head of the Clayton Book Club. Visit her website at for her latest recommendations or just to ‘talk books.’

free time to do what I wanted for the remaining hours. Of course, we had a few family vacations. But I didn’t have to bring summer homework books on any of those vacations. And I also didn’t have to worry about missing swim practice or water polo practice. My summers were simple, fun and never ending. But this summer, it feels as if I’m just as busy as I was during the school year. Every weekday, I have swim practice in the morning and water polo practice at night. During the afternoon, I have my own work things to do. On top of all of this, I have two books to read and other work to do in preparation for advanced classes next school year. My family and I got to visit friends in Utah for a week, but the work I had to put in at practice when I got back from my trip was overbearing. And I can’t forget about the books I had to bring with me and read during the trip to stay on schedule so I’ll finish them by the end of the summer. My busy, long days make me wonder why I put all of

this on my plate. I could forget about summer swim team, or I could procrastinate my summer homework until the last two days before school starts. But the weird thing is, I like being busy. I enjoy have a long to-do list and checking things off the list once I do them. When I was 8, maybe those free days weren’t actually free; I was doing fun, crazy, 8-year-old things, checking each one off my to-do list. Now, my list just looks a little different. Of course, I make time to hang out with my friends and have a couple fun adventures. But once in awhile, the weight of my to-do list hangs on me and prevents me from going out and spending my summer days carefree. I know that the next two summers of my adolescent years are only going to get busier, with preparations for college applications and more. Growing up has never felt more real.

Sydney Skow is a junior at CVCHS. Email her at

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Clayton Pioneer •

July 7, 2017

July is jam-packed with theatrical fun

Performing Arts



Get ready for Pittsburg Community Theatre’s annual fundraiser, where this year “Anything Goes!” The cabaret dinner show begins at 6:30 p.m. July 15 at the Elks Lodge, 200 Marina Blvd., Pittsburg. The extravaganza features appetizers, dinner, a silent auction (including a silent dessert auction) and lots of exciting musical performances from Broadway shows. The evening also includes a taste of next season’s musical productions. Lou Esposito II hosts, with members of the Pittsburg High School Show Band serving the multi-course dinner. Tips will benefit the students’ trip to Rome this winter. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at Also on July 15 is the 11th annual Chevron Family Theatre Festival. This muchanticipated event runs 10 a.m.4 p.m. in and around Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. A ribbon cutting ceremony opens the festivities, followed by a Prince and Princess Walk that includes characters from

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Neal Pascua is the Rainbow Fish in Bay area Children’s Theatre’s production of “The Rainbow Fish Musical.”

“Star Wars.” Presented by Chevron and produced by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, the city of Walnut Creek and the Lesher Center, the day features free events as well as $5 events that include nonstop theater, dance and music performances along with visual arts activities. The day includes an interactive show featuring the musical stylings of Cruella da Vil, Maleficent and the Queen of Hearts, Alex Ramon Magic, Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” a “Star Wars” STEM Build-a-Droid Station and, back by popular demand, “Artageous,” where a team of

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artists paint at electric speed, sing and operate a life-sized puppet. For a complete schedule of events and ticket information, go to the website at And if that weren’t enough, Tri Valley Theatre opens its production of “The Wizard of Oz” on July 15. Running through July 30, the Munchkin extravaganza takes place at Livermore’s Bankhead Theatre, 2400 First St. Don’t miss your favorite characters – Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion. Call 925-373-6800 or go to For the first time, the California Shakespeare Theatre presents a Tennessee Williams play as part of its season. “The

Glass Menagerie” is one of Williams’ classics, as he weaves the story of Amanda, an overbearing mother and former debutante, her son Tom and his sister Laura, who seems as fragile as the glass menagerie she cherishes. The struggling family is forever changed when Amanda invites a “gentleman caller” to dinner. Lisa Portes, an award-winning Chicago director, brings a new vision to Williams’ work by casting Amanda as an African-American. Portes’ unique take on “The Glass Menagerie” runs through July 30 at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. Call 510.548.9666 or visit Solo Opera teams up again this year with the Orinda Rotary Club to present “Opera in the Park.” Sponsored by the Orinda Rotary, the free performance will be 5-7 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at the Orinda Community Park. “We have assembled a truly spectacular lineup of talent,” says Concord resident Sylvia Amorino, who is Solo Opera’s artistic director/producer and master of ceremonies for the concert. The program includes eight singers who have performed at San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Lamplighters, Carnegie Hall, etc. The singers will perform greatest hits from operas such as “Madama Butterfly,” “Carmen,” “Rigoletto,” “Don

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For the youngest theatergoers, what could be better for summer days than an underwater adventure, complete with singing sea creatures in resplendent attire? That’s what will bubble up for young audiences when the Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) presents “The Rain-

Solo Opera’s Master of Ceremonies Sylvia amorino will give brief explanations of the action during “Opera in the Park” on July 23 in Orinda.

bow Fish Musical” through Aug. 6 at Children’s Fairyland, 699 Belleview Ave., Oakland. Shows are 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sundays. “The Rainbow Fish Musical” has been adapted for the stage by local playwright, composer and lyricist Austin Zumbro, with music inspired by classic rock. “We’re really excited to bring ‘The Rainbow Fish’ story to our stages,” says executive director Nina Meehan of Lafayette. “It’s a beautiful opportunity to remind us all that sharing our gifts brings joy to everyone around us.” For tickets, call 510-2964433 or go to If the young people around your house are beginning to get bored, Clayton Theatre Company’s three-week Musical Theater camp is the perfect summer remedy. For ages 6-16, the camp focuses on musical theater training culminating in a performance of Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” The camp takes place July 10- 27 at Endeavor Hall, 6008 Center St., Clayton. For more information, call 925-222-9106 or go to Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is also the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to

‘Cars 3’ not a retread, yet film lacks inspiration

On the surface, “Cars 3” is an unnecessary film. However, since “Cars 2” was needless as well as mediocre, a third film in the series could save some face. With the many wonderful, original films Pixar creates, the excessive amount of sequels lately could be seen as a cashgrab. When you have an established brand like “Cars,” it’s hard to blame Disney/Pixar for capitalizing. In a case of art imitating life, “Cars 3” character Mr. Sterling (Nathan Fillion) purchases the services of everyone’s favorite race car, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), and creates a saleable brand out of him. New director Brian Fee develops some beautiful race scenes and exquisite locales but can’t overcome the film’s weak pedigree. Thankfully, “Cars 3” leaves the espionage of “Cars 2” behind and returns to its core themes. McQueen is now an elder statesman in the world of racing. As with most sports, new technologies arrive and

threaten the way of life for those who have been around awhile. Mr. Sterling pairs Lightning with young jumpstart Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo). As a professional motivator, Cruz uses all the latest techniques to bring Lightning up to speed with the likes of brash rookie Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). At first, the banter between McQueen and Cruz seems like it was cut and pasted from several other sports movies. But as their relationship grows, so does the quality of their repartee. In the last 20 years, Pixar invented some of the most recognizable characters in the history of film – and most of them are not people. Monsters, fish, toys, cars and robots all talk and behave as humans. And like humans, they are flawed. Whether it’s Dory’s forgetfulness, Sully’s braggadocio or Lightning’s trepidation about getting passed by, the problems are relevant. Pixar has always been about

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Giovanni” and much more. According to Amorino, this free “Opera in the Park” is a good introduction for children or others who might never go to see live opera. As master of ceremonies, Amorino will share a running commentary on the works. “The music is very likeable, and the explanations short to make it even more enjoyable,” she says. For more information, go to or email

brilliant spotlight of warm sun, stood a large, regal, horned lizard. It was bigger than any I’d seen previously. It was standing proud, not squat-bellied against the ground. We both eased our cameras out, but it was Lee-Hong who got the shot. I doubt I’ll ever get a better look at such an impressive horned lizard. They’re becoming rare. Their main diet is ants, and as California’s native ants decline in number, replaced by the more aggressive and less

edible Argentine ants, so declines the numbers of this amazing lizard. Every creature is amazing; sometime it’s a tired phrase. But this one can shoot a stream of blood from the corner of its eye. That’s not a misprint. It may try everything else first to evade a predator. It can lie flat so that a coyote would have trouble forcing its lower jaw underneath the scaly belly. It can puff out, making its horns, which are modified

appealing to all ages. Adults can relate to McQueen’s struggle with growing older, while young adults will connect with Cruz’s regrets for not pursuing her racing career. But where is the message aimed at children? It could be one of overcoming one’s personal obstacles, as McQueen and Cruz must do. Yet when none of the characters are children, do kids even care about, much less understand, the problems of adults in their 40s? One of the overlooked mysteries of the “Cars” movies (aside from why there are school buses) is the lack of child cars. “Wall-E” had no child characters, but Wall-E himself was childlike. Same goes for Dory. That is the missing ingredient in “Cars 3”: childlike. “Song of the South” notwithstanding, Disney loves to celebrate its history. One of the best parts of “Cars 3” is the use of flashbacks to bring back Doc Hudson (Paul Newman). Nothing feels forced

when Lightning continually looks for inspiration from his deceased mentor. Nostalgia is an effective plot device when used sparingly, and Pixar does it right every time. In the end, “It’s better than the second one” is not much of a glowing recommendation. Kids will enjoy the racing scenes in “Cars 3,” as they are exciting and masterfully created. However, young kids may inevitably get bored, so having a pause button available is a good option. Kids love the “Cars” toys. Like an aging McQueen, the franchise works better as a brand. C+

scales, a serious impediment to a smooth gulp. It will sometimes run in short bursts and brake suddenly in the hope that its desert camouflage will confuse a predator. But it can also slow the flow of blood from its head until the pressure bursts blood vessels in the eye, emitting a five-foot stream. It’s an unlikely defense that seems desperate and injurious. But lizard blood apparently doesn’t taste good, and it may blind a predator temporarily – long enough for the lizard to scuttle away and recover. Regional naturalist Michael

Marchiano is trying to learn where these lizards are still thriving in our area. He remembers from his childhood around Mount Diablo that he could find horned lizards – also called horny toads – in his own back yard. If you see one this season, note the time of day and your location as exactly as you can, and get a photo, if possible. Then email all the info to Michael for his database at Staci Hobbet is a docent with the Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association; Send email to her at



Jeff Mellinger is a screen writer and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film production. He lives in Concord. Email comments to

July 7, 2017

Clayton Pioneer •

Page 13

Clayton Community Calendar



Extended Thru December School Days Exhibit

Display of the history, teachers, students and schools in the Clayton area from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. 2 – 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays; 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday car show nights. Clayton Museum, 6101 Main St. Free. (925) 672-0240.

Saturdays, except July 15 and Sep. 2 Farmers’ Market 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 6095 Main St.

July 8, 22, Aug. 5 Saturday Concerts in The Grove

6 – 8:30 p.m. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St. Free. For a complete concert series list, see Page 3.

July 12, 26, Aug. 9 Wednesday Classic Car Show

Save Mount Diablo’s Discover Diablo is a free public hike series. Go to for more information.

July 8 Morgan Territory Family Walk

Spectacular vistas. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Morgan Territory Road Staging Area. Registration required.

July 22 Chaparral Spring Property Tour

See the blue oak groves. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at Marsh Creek Road at the Three Springs Entry. Registration required.

Aug. 12 Wright Canyon Full Moon Property Tour

Find out what wakes up when the sun goes down. 7 – 10 p.m. Meet at Wright Canyon, 4390 Morgan Territory Road. Registration required.


Car show and DJ music, 6 – 8 p.m. 6099 Main St. Free.

July 7 Young Actors Studio Showcase

Pro pitmasters and backyard chef competitions, including People’s Choice. Demos, food, drink, music, kiddieland. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Downtown Clayton. Free admission.

July 14 – 30 “Crazy for You”

July 15 Clayton BBQ Cook Off July 20 Lunch ‘N’ Learn

Topic: Conflict resolution for the challenges of aging. Speaker: Katharina W. Dress, MA. Bring your own lunch. Cookies and beverages provided by Clayton Valley Village. 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Clayton Community Library, 6125 Clayton Road. Free. Register at

Mondays Off the Grid


Rotating lineup of food trucks. 5 – 9 p.m. 2151 Salvio Street.

Tuesdays Farmers’ Market

Year round, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.

Tuesday Night Blues July 11 - 25

Some of the best blues in the Bay Area. July 11, Mark Hummel; July 18, Mitch Woods; July 25, Roy Rogers. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free.

Thursdays Music and Market

Thursday night live music and farmers’ market. Music: July 13, Frobeck; July 20, California Cowboys; July 27, Fleetwood Mask; Aug. 3, The Breedloves; Aug. 10, Soul Power. Market 4 – 8 p.m.; music 6:30 – 8 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission.

3rd Sundays Antique Faire

Antiques, collectibles, handmade arts and crafts. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free admission.

On Sale Now Concerts

The Concord Pavilion is located at 2000 Kirker Pass Road. See full concert schedule for 2017 at Upcoming shows: July 15, I Love the ‘90s Tour, 7 p.m. Aug. 11, Steve Martin and Martin Short, 8 p.m. Aug. 16, Double Feature: Straight No Chaser/Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27, 2017 Honda Civic Tour featuring OneRepublic, 7 p.m.

July 11 Cool Concord Cars

Presented by The Ballet School. 6:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $15. (925) 943-7469. Gershwin musical. Heritage High Theater, 101 American Ave., Brentwood. $10-$25. (925) 852-3612.

Weekends, July 14 – Aug. 13 New Works Staged Readings Series

Celebrate local playwrights and their works via staged readings. B8 Theatre Company, 2292 Concord Blvd., Concord. $10. (925) 890-8877.

July 15 Chevron Family Theatre Festival

A day of affordable, high quality, family entertainment. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $5. (925) 943-7469.

July 15 Ice Cream Social and Open House

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day and tour the Contra Costa County History Center. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 724 Escobar St., Martinez. Free; $5 suggested donation.

July 18 “Summer ‘Pops’ Concert 2017”

Presented by Walnut Creek Concert Band. 7:30 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $17. (925) 943-7469.

July 20 – 22 “Whose Life is It Anyway?”

An improvised comedy presented by Synergy Theater. 8:15 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $20. (925) 943-7469.

July 21 - 23 “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”

Presented by Broadway Repertory Theater. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $28. (925) 943-7469.

July 22 Kevin Blake

Illusionist, magician and mentalist. 8 p.m. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $10-$20. (925) 757-9500.

July 23 “Opera in the Park”

Performed by Solo Opera and sponsored by Orinda Rotary Club. 5 - 7 p.m. Orinda Community Park, 28 Orinda Way, Orinda. Free.

July 28 – 30 “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”

Presented by Broadway Repertory Theater. El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St., Antioch. $12-$23. (925) 757-9500.

Annual car show on opening night of Tuesday Night Blues. 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord. Free. cityofJuly 29

July 27 Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff

Mayors from Contra Costa County and chefs from their cities compete to prepare the best healthy meal. 4 p.m. Todos Santos Plaza, downtown Concord.


Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve programs are available for registration through Parking fees may apply. For additional information, contact Black Diamond Visitor Center at (510) 544-2750 or

Thru November Hazel-Atlas Mine Tours

Learn about the mining history and geology at Black Diamond Mines. Guided, 90-minute tour; Saturdays and Sundays. Must be age 7 or older with parent. $5 in advance online or day of at Sidney Flat Visitor Center.

July 15 Bat Monitoring

Stay after hours in the park and help monitor the bat colony. 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Meet at Black Diamond Mines Upper Parking Lot. Registration required. Mount Diablo Interpretive Association programs listed are free with the exception of park entrance fee. Go to and click on Event Calendar for more information.

“The Songs and Stories of Neil Diamond”

Performed by Jack Wright. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $39$49. (925) 943-7469.

July 30 Salimpour School Certification Performance

Presented by Suhaila International. 5:45 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 4 – 6 “The Yeomen of the Guard”

Dark comedy performed by Lamplighters Music Theatre. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $49$54. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 4 – 12 “Legally Blonde JR”

Presented by Poison Apple Productions Youth Performers. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $22. (925) 943-7469.

Aug. 5 Terell Stafford Quintet

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42. (925) 943-7469.

July 21 Common Poorwill Bird Walk

Aug. 11 The Philippine Madrigal Singers

July 29 The Night Shift

Aug. 12 Cyrille Aimee

A hike in the dark may turn up some interesting wildlife. 7 – 10:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required: Check out the park’s evening shift, including bats, owls and tarantulas. 7 - 9:30 p.m. Meet at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. Registration required:

Presented by Music Repertoire. 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $25$30. (925) 943-7469.

Presented by Diablo Regional Arts Association. 5 and 8 p.m. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. $42. (925) 943-7469.


July 14, 28 Summer Movie Nights

July 14, “Sing,” plus Karaoke Idol; July 28, “The Lego Batman Movie,” plus superhero/villain costume contest. Bring a lawn chair, blankets, invite friends and neighbors. Activities begin at 7 p.m. Movies start at sundown. Clayton Community Church, 6055 Main St., Clayton. Free admission.


Sep. 9 Reunion

Concord High School Class of 1977 is hosting a reunion open to all CHS alumni. 6 – 11:30 p.m. The Fratellanza Club, 1140 66th St., Oakland. $50 by Aug. 14.


2nd and 4th Sundays Pancake Breakfast

Veterans of Foreign Wars serve breakfast to the public: Eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverage. 8 – 11 a.m. VFW Post 1525, 2290 Willow Pass Road, Concord. $5, $3 children under 12.

July 7 – 8 D.L. Hughley

Comedy. Proceeds benefit Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $30-$40. (925) 427-1611.

July 8 – 9 “The Stacey Show”

Charming, humorous, one-woman show. Proceeds benefit Onstage Theatre. Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. $15. (925) 518-3277.

July 15 “Anything Goes!”

A cabaret dinner show. Proceeds benefit Pittsburg Community Theatre. 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. Elks Lodge, 200 Marina Blvd., Pittsburg. $50. (925) 439-7529.

July 15 Document Shredding

Sponsored by Diablo Valley Oncology to benefit the Cancer Support Community. 1 – 3 p.m. California Cancer and Research Institute, 400 Taylor Blvd., Pleasant Hill. $20 first box; $5 each additional box. (925) 677-5041.

July 21 – 22 Willie Barcena

Comedy. Proceeds benefit Pittsburg Arts and Community Foundation. California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. $15-$25. (925) 427-1611.

July 22 Mad Hatter Tea

Hosted by Concord Senior Center to benefit their scholarship program for underprivileged senior citizens. 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Concord Senior Center, 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. $30., #104410. (925) 671-3320.

July 29 Baking for a Cure

Bake sale for Relay For Life Clayton. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Starbucks, Clayton Station.

July 29 Italian Classic Pasta Dinner and Show

Pre-show dinner then Italian songs and opera favorites. Sponsored by Friends of Isola delle Femmine, Pittsburg’s sister city. 6 p.m. dinner; 8 p.m. show. $25 for dinner; call Mary at (925) 439-9016 for location and tickets. $35 for show at California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg; tickets at (925) 427-1611.

Aug. 5 Paint the Town Purple

Help decorate local businesses with purple ribbons to kick off Relay For Life event. 8 a.m. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St., Clayton.

Aug. 12 - 13 Relay For Life Clayton

American Cancer Society fundraiser. Join a team or walk as an individual. Activities for participants and spectators. 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. The Grove Park, 6100 Main St., Clayton.


The Clayton Library is at 6125 Clayton Road. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or call (925) 673-0659. Thru Aug. 5: Summer Reading Program for all ages. July 10, 24: Clayton Knits, 1:30 p.m. July 10: Bubblesmith, 4 p.m. July 10: Clayton Library Book Club, 7 p.m. July 24: Boss a Bot Around, 6 p.m. July 31: Harry Potter’s Birthday Party, 7 p.m. Aug. 9: Electronic Snap Circuits, 6:30 p.m.

The Concord Library is at 2900 Salvio St. Programs are free unless otherwise noted. See full schedule of events at or (925) 646-5455. July 10: Bubblesmith, 7 p.m. July 11, 13, 18, 20: Summer Lunch, 1 p.m. July 17: Movie Monday, 7 p.m. July 18: Kindergarten Countdown, 2 p.m. Registration required. July 21 – 23: Book Sale, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fri. and Sat.; 1 – 3:30 p.m. Sun. July 27: Master Gardeners, 6:30 p.m. July 31: Harry Potter Bingo, 7 p.m. Aug. 1: National Night Out, 6 p.m.


1st and 3rd Tuesdays Clayton City Council

7 p.m. Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. (925) 673-7304 or

2nd and 4th Tuesdays Clayton Planning Commission

7 p.m., Hoyer Hall, Clayton Library, 6125 Clayton Road. (925) 673-7304 or

Page 14

Clayton Pioneer •

In days past, pools kept Clayton cool in summer

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The last heat wave got me wondering how early Clayton residents kept cool. Cooling bodies of water were available to people living in the mountains or near the ocean, but the creeks in the grasslands around Mt. Diablo were dry by the time summer arrived. To create ponds for watering livestock and separate pools for swimming, creeks were dammed to capture and hold the precious water. Clayton Valley had always been a favorite spot for picnicking amid the wildflowers of spring, and the construction of swimming pools extended the fun through the hot summer. A picture taken at Keller Ranch in the 1930s shows Mt. Diablo Creek dammed below the concrete bridge. Although it is not in the picture, we know there was a picnic area nearby. In 1933, Sylvester Olofson built a cement pool and picnic ground on Curry Creek, as did the Russelman family at the headwaters of Marsh Creek. These parks became “destination spots” for city dwellers and other folks wanting to relax in the beauty of Mt. Diablo’s golden hills and oak woodlands. Most successful was Gerould Gill’s Marsh Springs Park, heralded in a Walnut Creek newspaper as “Contra Costa’s first permanent recreational installation.” Gill leased 75

This photo was taken circa 1930 at the Keller Ranch in Clayton. To create a swimming pool, Mt. Diablo Creek was dammed below where the concrete bridge is beind the library.

acres on Marsh Creek in 1929 for $1,200 a year, and his first order of business was to build a swimming pool of cement and rocks. Only five people came on opening day, but his clientele increased quickly. He added a children’s pool, snack bar, ball fields, stables, dance hall and campgrounds. By 1939, the place was in full swing – prompting Gill’s son to later say that more people traveled to Marsh Springs Park than Yosemite. Soldiers stationed at Camp Stoneman in Pittsburg appreciated that they could come over the hill to Clayton and have fun for “only a dime a throw.” The park remained in operation when Gill expanded his holdings in 1950 and built the

Marsh Creek Lodge complex about a mile from his original resort. He added a nine-hole golf course, a restaurant built around native oaks, overnight cabins, more campgrounds and picnic areas and other large swimming pools, among many other fun amenities. The visitor count became an estimated 5,000 people each weekend, with 225,000 people every year. Water brought tremendous success to both of Gill’s resorts, but water also proved their downfall. A cloudburst in the winter of 1957 created a 12-foot wall of water that charged down Marsh Creek, destroying much of the park and lodge. Although the lodge was rebuilt that same year, another flood in 1962 perma-

Then it hit me. I could use my cell phone to create a hot spot and connect my laptop to it. Presto – I had the Internet. I researched several article topics and surfed the web for facts and figures, but I just couldn’t decide on a topic. Then it hit me again. My topic was right there in front of me. I must have been mesmerized by the splendor of the great outdoors, or perhaps it was the rum and Cokes. If you need to connect your laptop to the Internet and you don’t have a WiFi network like the one at home or in your office, you can create your own network with a cell phone. First, be sure you can make a cell call, which is likely as cell towers are everywhere these days. Your cell call actually operates on a separate network like Verizon or TMobile, etc., instead of Comcast or your provider. If this

connection (cell call) is available, you can share it with your laptop/desktop. Find the settings (or options) on your cell phone that let you configure the phone. Most phones these days will allow you to create a shared WiFi for “Internet sharing.” It is turned off by default, meaning it is usually off. Click it to turn it on. Usually a message will pop up, or the screen will display your choices. Then it will show you the name of the new WiFi network you activated. Mine was NOKIA Lumia 635_9676 because I have a Nokia phone; yours may say Android or Apple, etc. It then displayed my password to the network. Fire up your laptop and search for a new network with the name the phone just gave you. Input the password displayed on your cell phone and,

nently diminished his holdings. Gill refurbished a few of the remaining buildings at the lodge and continued to operate the golf course until 1970 but he sold the Marsh Springs Park parcel to John and Eloise McHugh in 1965. Now known as the “old Marsh Springs Park,” it is a lovely venue for weddings and other large gatherings. As in earlier days, the site boasts shaded picnic grounds, a ball field and, yes, a cooling swimming pool. Eistetter is membership chair of the Clayton Historical Society. For more information or to become a member, visit or contact her at The Clayton Museum is open 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays at 6101 Main St. Admission is free.

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I was in the middle of nowhere on a brief but welldeserved vacation, and I needed to use the Internet to do some research for my computer article. All I had was my cell phone and a laptop that couldn’t get a WiFi connection, but I needed to connect to do my work. (Such dedication is rare.) The surroundings were spectacular as we camped by the shores of Lake Siskiyou, right outside Mt. Shasta City at the base of Mt. Shasta. I wonder: Is camping in a self-contained RV really camping and can you call having no Internet and no TV roughing it? Anyway, there I was with no way to research my article and my deadline was approaching.

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like magic, your laptop is now connected to the Internet. Beware of two things, though. First, if there is an option to exclude other computers from the network you just created, you should exclude them. Second, all the web surfing you do is on your cell phone dime. So if you don’t have unlimited access, it could get costly. Now, with the Internet firmly in hand, you can call yourself a happy camper. William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to

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Clayton Pioneer •

Iceland is this summer’s hot spot If you go


It started with HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Now Iceland’s secret is out, and the “land of fire and ice” has become one of the world’s fastest-growing vacation destinations. It’s not just the island’s many volcanoes and “Game of Thrones” that are heating up the area. Iceland has seen an explosion in tourism, from 489,000 in 2010 to more than 2.3 million tourists expected in 2017. This growth has come with costs for the island, which is in the North Atlantic between Europe and Greenland. A Wired article said Iceland “teems with globetrotters,” calling the invasion an “epidemic” that has the tiny nation the size of Kentucky struggling to cope with the influx. French photographer Denis Meyer spent weeks in Iceland last March for his series “Iceland: The Silent Epidemic.” He listened to French tourists complain about the tour buses and construction, then spent two weeks exploring the island and found the same problems. “Barriers have been installed on tourist sites, and they are regularly crossed by visitors who walk on the frag-

Spectacular views of Iceland’s Northern Lights and stunning scenery reward the savvy traveler.

ile ground so as to simply take photos without other tourists in the picture,” Meyer said. Iceland is so beautiful that it’s attracting an increasingly savvy crowd that’s weary of “the usual” destinations such as Hawaii, Alaska and the Caribbean. In addition, there are those looking for the unique scenery featured in “Game of Thrones,” filmed largely in Iceland. Iceland is also drawing active tourists interested in bike tours, hiking and more exotic sports. I know a Florida woman who is intent on a horseback-riding adventure in Iceland. But she insists on a “hard riding” horseback experience, not the “pony ride” offered by so many Icelandic companies. I found a reputable, experienced horseback tour company, Eldhestar, only to learn that their trips were booked solid for 2017 – forcing her to wait until 2018. Helping to fuel the tourist epidemic is the increase in air service to Iceland, especially

Honanki Ruins: An Ancient Wonder

by Wow Air and Icelandair, both based in Reykjavik. The two airlines route planes through Reykjavik and offer passengers an Iceland stopover for no additional charge. In the case of Wow Air, there is a daily nonstop flight from San Francisco to Reykjavik. Due to the heightened interest, Iceland has increasingly caught the attention of major cruise lines, including Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America, MSC and Celebrity – all of which stop in Reykjavik. In summer, smaller ships sailing around Iceland include Peregrine Adventures, Variety Cruises and Iceland ProCruises, which offers a 10day circumnavigation. Iceland is well-known as one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. Many tours are built around trips to remote parts of the island, away from the urban glare of Reykjavik, where the aurora borealis can best be seen reflected in the island’s many glaciers and



Photo: Dr. Robert Hertzog

The Honanki Heritage site is one of the largest of ancient Native american cliff dwellings in the country. at one time there were more than 70 three-storey, ground floor dwellings at the site.

This summer, my family took a road trip to Sedona, Arizona. While in Sedona, we kept ourselves busy, swimming, exploring, and taking lots of pictures. One of the most interesting activities we did was to take a tour of the Honanki (pronounced Hunan-ki) Heritage Site, located in the Arizona Verde Valley. The Honanki Heritage site, is one of the largest of ancient Native American cliff dwellings. At one time there were more than 70 ground floor dwellings, three stories high, at the Honanki site. The dwellings are made out of a red sandstone rock. The color of the rock is caused by the rusting of iron minerals, which gives the sandstone

and squash. Archeologists say there was a significant amount of rainfall during their stay at the sight, a time period of 200-250 years. Their farming was so abundant they were able to trade food for other supplies like beads or woven rugs. The Honanki also practiced successful water conservation techniques and had time for leisurely activities, such as ball games, and making pottery. Archeologists speculate the Hopi abandoned the site around 1300-1400 A.D because of drought and the significant decrease in rainfall that did not allow for farming in the area. This drought is thought to have lasted for 40 years or longer. Archeologists are certain of the drought theory. Abandonment could also have been caused by conflict with another tribe. In later years, from around 1400 through the 1800s, the dwellings were occupied by the Yavapi and the Apache people at different time periods. The cliff dwelling is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weather permitting, and is absolutely worth a visit. For more information, contact Pink Jeep Tours at

rock their red color. Their dwellings were carved by literally cutting into the mountain and using a mud based mortar. In 1895, Dr. Jesse Walters from the Smithsonian Institution discovered the Honanki site. He thought he named the site “Bear House,” using the Hopi word “Honanki.” But, Honanki actually means “Badger House.” At the time of his discovery, he noted many pictographs, painted pictures and petroglyphs, which are carved pictures. These pictures were most likely made by the Hopi and Yavapi who occupied the site at different time periods. The Honanki Heritage site Natalie Pursche is a freshman was built and occupied around at Northgate and a regular contrib1100 A.D. The Native Ameriutor to the Pioneer. Send comments cans thrived in the area, plantto ing and harvesting corn, beans

Travel etiquette: “What, Where and How” is a new guidebook for tourists by Arni Tryggvason, available at Eymundsson bookstores in Iceland. The book states it’s important to respect local customs and even learn a few Icelandic phrases to charm the locals. However, don’t complain about the weather, disturb the natural habitat or leave trash. No Visa needed: U.S. citizens can travel to Iceland for 90 days or less with only a passport, which should be valid for three months beyond your intended stay. For more information: Iceland has an excellent tourism site, You can find information on the country’s history and heritage, practical tips, geography and facts about its many active volcanoes.

lakes. The best time to see the Northern Lights is September to mid-April, when there are full, dark nights. The nights can be freezing, but some companies offer clear bubbles in which you can go “glamping” for the night with a clear view of the aurora borealis. Some hotels feature a wake-up service so you can be alerted when the lights are spreading their magic over the Icelandic landscape.

Casey is an independent travel consultant with Fair Winds Cruises & Expeditions in Clayton. He can be reached at 925-787-8252 or

Page 15

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Call for info 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 2049 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Rula Masannat


• 2934 Putnum Blvd., Walnut Creek


3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1929 sq. ft.

Listing agent: Doug Van Riper

SOLD: Buyer Representation

• 5500 Wilke Dr., Concord


3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1508 sq. ft.

$10K over asking

Listing agent: Rula Masannat

Matt Mazzei, Jr.,

Paula & Rod Johnstone

Rula Masannat

BRE# 01881269

DRE# 00797857

DRE# 01923757

Broker Associate

Broker/Owner 925-766-6745

Paula 925-381-8810 Rod 925-286-5765 Clayton residents since 1959

925-693-0757 (Main)


Sales Agent 415-310-2905

6160 Center St. Suite #C, Clayton

925-693-0752 (Fax)

Lands End Trail a cool summer hike

Page 16

Clayton Pioneer •

End Lookout. The trail quickly delivers endless trailside wildflowers, numerous groves of Cypress Trees along with some rolling afternoon fog,

which made this hike a cool cruiser on a stunning summer day. Dogs are welcome, but bikes are not. Coastal Trail rambles and

drifts through shaded cypress covered sections as you make your way around the Northeast portion of Lands End past the USS San Francisco Memorial (worth a quick side trip) and Mile Rock Overlook and eventually head out to Mile Rock Lookout Trail. Don’t miss Mile Rock Lookout Trail down to Mile Rock Beach. The 184 wooden steps which take you down to the beach are a “must do” during this hike. A shady and quick descent into the sandy conditions below put you at Lands End Point within minutes. This rocky point has some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean in the Bay Area. A bonus treat lies within the massive Labyrinth Maze on a

DEBRA MORRIS Pacific Coast Farmers Market

perfect climate and rich soil for growing corn, it is some of the best around. Stonebarger says he tests more than 250 varieties of corn to keep up with consumer demand. Last year, Brentwood farmers harvested more than 33,000 tons of the tasty veggie. Suburban development has been rapidly overtaking agricultural land in Brentwood, and G&S Farms is one of the last remaining farms in the area. Stonebarger loves farming but is concerned about the growth of Brentwood and the disappearance of land for farming. “I don’t think people realize how important it is to have open land,” he says. “Once you pave it over, it’s gone forever.”

The farming operation continues today at 200 acres with the help of Glenn’s nephew, Joseph Ghiggeri, and two sons, Paul and Michael. G&S Farms is proud to farm all non-GMO produce. Their staple products are Brentwood Diamond sweet corn and Brentwood cherries. The corn is hand-selected, both in the field and again at the packinghouse. It is put on ice and delivered to farmers markets within 36 hours of harvest. Corn’s natural sugars turn to starch if not consumed quickly after picking, so they are harvested and delivered to customers as soon as possible. Get their fantastic corn G&S Farms Joseph Ghiggeri, grandson of founder Emilio while you can and enjoy some Ghiggeri with his father Roy Ghiggeri in their Brentwood cornfield. on the grill.





What do you do when it’s 102° by 11 a.m? What else but pack a lunch, grab some water, sunscreen up and head over to beautiful San Francisco where we traded the heat for a cool 66° day with plenty of sunshine and a spirit for adventure. I took the kiddies along for this hike and within seconds of arrival, they were jumping up and down at the site of the Sutro Bath ruins. Originally built in 1896 as the world’s largest saltwater complex, including six saltwater pools and one freshwater pool, these baths would fill at high tide and were serviced by rail lines and ferries near the Cliff House. The baths burned down in the 1960s from suspected arson. Descend the steps from the parking lot down to The Sutro Baths (126 steps in all) and pick a direction, because I promise, none will disappoint. We spent time frolicking around the rocks on Ocean Beach, admiring the historic Cliff House, Seal Rocks and exploring an endless amount of nooks, crannies and caves. Comparing pictures of this historic facility with the ruins that exist today really leaves a lot up to the imagination. Wildflowers have filled in the secret passages, tunnels, stairways and concrete remnants left behind from long ago. An early highlight for all ages of my group. Coastal Trail leaves directly from the parking lot at Lands

July 7, 2017

Kevin Parker

a descent worth the 126 steps down are the ruins of the Sutro Baths on the Lands End Trail.

plateau hidden to those who lack “adventure mojo.” Labyrinths date back almost 4000 years and have a long association with spirituality, ritual and sacred dance. The kids ran circles while I enjoyed the Golden Gate Bridge, the fresh ocean air and lack of crowds. Hikers beware, this area in general, especially Lands End Point has some very high consequence falls. So stay away from the cliffs, edges, and never turn your back on the ocean. Coastal Trail continues along the shoreline towards the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio beyond. Dead Man’s Point, Eagle’s Point Overlook, China Beach and Baker Beach are not to be missed. Other highlights such as

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Lands End to Presidio Coastal Trail Distance: 5.0+ miles Duration: 2.5-3.0 hours Getting there: Parking at Lands Ends Lookout (Point Lobos Ave, SF). Restrooms, information, free trail maps in store, and coffee shop Fort Point and the Presidio will have to be conquered on future adventures. Enjoy summer!

Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at

Family farm holds out against suburban sprawl

Emilio Ghiggeri planted the first sweet corn in Brentwood in the 1940s, when the area was known primarily for its production of lettuce, apricots and melons. The farm became G&S (Ghiggeri and Stonebarger) Farms in the 1980s when Glenn Stonebarger, a third-generation Brentwood farmer, married Emilio’s daughter Jeannie. Brentwood is famous for its sweet corn production, particularly a variety called Brentwood Diamonds, which G&S Farms was the first to grow in the 1990s. Their bicolored, yellow and white sweet corn varieties are available now. With Brentwood’s

Nancy E. Bennett

What a Difference Your Interest Rate Makes If you want to keep your mortgage payment under

$1000 a month

Interest Rate (JUN) Mortgage Payment




12.22% $999.05

8.29% $999.16

3.89% $999.90




Here’s the price of the home you could afford

• Interest rates have come a long way in the last 30 years. • Interest rates are at their lowest in years… RIGHT NOW! • The interest rate you secure directly impacts your monthly payment and the amount of house that you can afford if you plan to stay within a certain budget. • If buying your first home or moving up to the home of your dreams is in your future, now may be the time to act. Nancy sells more than 8 times as many homes as the average realtor.

Call today to learn how!

Nancy Bennett, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty CEO, The Bennett Team #1 Agent in Concord #1 Team, Keller Williams East Bay #5 Team Nationally (U.S. & Canada) Keller Williams CalBRE #01399870

1468 Davis Ave., Concord


This charming single-family home has 3 bedrooms\1 bath, 1,546 sq. ft. Many nice updates with a bright spacious kitchen. Beautifully cozy backyard, and a large front yard. This property sits on approx. an acre of land. Call for Price

3541 Torino Way, Concord


Gorgeous 3 bedroom/2 bath Ygnacio Hills home. This lovely spacious home has been beautifully updated and has new lighting throughout. Exposed wood beams. This is a real must see! Call for Price


JUL 07 Clayton Pioneer 2017  

Local news from Clayton, CA with in-depth features, business, the local arts scene, ­sports, government, youth activities, great columnists,...

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